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Phil Spencer says Xbox has ‘changed how we do certain things’ with Activision, following abuse allegations

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

In a New York Times interview published on Monday, the exec was cagey about what this actually meant in practice, after it was pointed out that Xbox Live played a significant role in the early and continued success of Call of Duty.

“The work we do specifically with a partner like Activision is something that, obviously, I’m not going to talk publicly about. We have changed how we do certain things with them, and they’re aware of that.”

Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms.

While regretful, he said Xbox had learned to be a better company because of the event and that he’d rather help others to do the same than reprimand them for their own transgressions.

“Any of the partners that are out there, if I can learn from them or I can help with the journey that we’ve been on on Xbox by sharing what we’ve done and what we’ve built, I’d much rather do that than get into any kind of finger-wagging at other companies that are out there,” he said.

In July, Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing because of its reported failure to handle sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees.

Its lawsuit included claims that a Blizzard employee committed suicide after male co-workers had passed around nude photos of her. It’s also been reported that Kotick knew about the alleged rape of a former Sledgehammer Games employee by a male supervisor in 2016 and 2017.

These examples were put to Spencer during the New York Times interview, and he was asked what needs to be done when there’s an issue like this within the games industry.

“Well, I think the first thing we need to be able to do is to have people feel like they can report and talk about what’s happening,” he responded. “That goes to, like I said, the safety for people. And I have more capability of that on my own team. But I’ll just say in general, having open lines of communication where people can report on their lived experience on our teams, it’s got to be so critical.

“And to get there, it’s a cultural effort of how do you build that trust so people feel like when they whistle blow, when they raise their hand about topics that are going on, that they won’t face repercussions. Rather, they’ll see action.

“In terms of work that we do with other companies, again, I would rather help other companies than try to get into punishing. I don’t think my job is out there to punish other companies.”

The interviewer then pressed Spencer, asking him what’s wrong with punishing companies.

“I think in terms of interactions with other companies, the things that we choose to do with our brand and our platform, in coordination or not with other companies, is the avenue that we have to have an impact,” he said.

“I would say in terms of individuals that are in leadership positions at other companies, it’s not obviously our position to judge who the CEOs are. Like, CEOs are chosen by shareholders and boards.

“At Xbox, I know who I’m accountable for here in terms of the business and the operations. It’s my teams here, my management chain. And that’s the thing that we continue to focus on, is to try to grow. And whether that’s us sharing, again, the experiences that we have with other partners, if we can help them on their own journey or on the things that happen in our own teams.”
 
"Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms."



There is a big difference between treating your female employees like shit and sexually harassing them in a professional environment vs. hiring some women to look pretty for monetary compensation.
 

Sgt.Asher

Member
Translation: "We will say words condemning activision, but we are more than willing to sign advertising contracts and exclusive rights!"
 
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Reactions: Fuz

Banjo64

Gold Member
"Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms."



There is a big difference between treating your female employees like shit and sexually harassing them in a professional environment vs. hiring some women to look pretty for monetary compensation.
It’s ok Phil, we’re allowed to like scantily clad pussy just like women are allowed to like big fat cock.
 
Like what? Saying "get lost" to Activation? When did it happen?

Stop this hypocrisy and non sense Phil, you don't give a shit, MS doesn't give a shit. I would not be surprise to hear the exact same things happening inside MS and XBOX - aka the american male console!

Oh and fXck you Phil, GDC says hi!
 

AGRacing

Member
Phil... just keep your mouth shut about other companies dirty laundry and let them sort it out. Do business with them or don't. You're starting to sound like a moron.
 

nush

Gold Member
All this means is that they'll make Activision sign an employee code of conduct agreement and pinky swear they'll stick to it.

I've seen so many of these over the years working for corporate company's, it's a checkbox so they can say they have trained everybody about the right way to behave. I remember the "No bribes" one, 99.99% of employees would never get offered a bribe. Guys at the top did, still did, but it was never a bag of cash passed under the table or even a tangeble asset you could point to as a bribe.
 

peter42O

Member
Like what? Saying "get lost" to Activation? When did it happen?

Stop this hypocrisy and non sense Phil, you don't give a shit, MS doesn't give a shit. I would not be surprise to hear the exact same things happening inside MS and XBOX - aka the american male console!

Oh and fXck you Phil, GDC says hi!
Clicks on link...................that's it?!?!?!?!?!? You've got to be kidding me.
 

demigod

Member
That was a whole lotta nothin. There is no change on what they do with Activision. The $$$ is too good. The only journey they will help Activision is getting more $$$. Know when to shit your mouth Phil, this is one of them.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
"Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms."



There is a big difference between treating your female employees like shit and sexually harassing them in a professional environment vs. hiring some women to look pretty for monetary compensation.

I think he has a good point. It isn't that it's the same thing, and he isn't saying that. However, the motivation for even wanting such a thing there in the first place is exactly the wrong thing to be doing. It's not the mindset with which to approach even entertaining people while publicly representing a brand like Xbox, or a major company like Microsoft.

Something like that if they wanna do it, should be private, and not be done tied to a specific official company event while done under the company's name. The best of intentions can turn into a very dark moment where bad things you never intended to happen end up occurring.
 

Winter John

Member
"Well, shit, yeah, it's not good when the Cartel are beheading people in public. They shouldn't do that. It's the wrong thing to do."

Dick Cheney
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms.
Chill No GIF by Desus & Mero


This is your comparison phil? This just sounds like desperately wanting to say something "bad" (it's not) without hurting the company image; virtue signaling.
 

RiccochetJ

Gold Member
Like what? Saying "get lost" to Activation? When did it happen?

Stop this hypocrisy and non sense Phil, you don't give a shit, MS doesn't give a shit. I would not be surprise to hear the exact same things happening inside MS and XBOX - aka the american male console!

Oh and fXck you Phil, GDC says hi!
"Spencer reiterated that reports of workplace toxicity “saddened and sickened” him, while also noting that “Xbox’s history is not spotless”. He went on to discuss what he called the company’s “GDC dance party moment” in 2016, when scantily clad women were hired to perform on platforms."

You sure got him!

You didn't read any of the OP or the article did you?
 
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SlimySnake

Member
The interviewer then pressed Spencer, asking him what’s wrong with punishing companies.
At this point you are punishing customers though. It's obvious Kotick wont go. I would love for Phil to get Sony and Nintendo and make a stand, but clearly that didnt happen and it was just empty words.

Also, if Kotick really did something so horrible that he should be jailed for it then he should be taken to court. If he personally hasnt been sued then there is really nothing for Phil to do. Besides, what would firing kotick do anyway? The culture was the problem.

The Court case with California is against the entire company, and Phil cant go to war with Activision and its 10k employees. They are victims here and they should not be punished.
 

Vagswarm

Member
I don't know what people really expect them to say or do. They know if they stop selling games or put in other restrictions for such a monster company then they are screwed. They aren't personally responsible for another company's actions and there's no guarantee anyone else would follow suit. Which I can guarantee none of them would, leaving them behind.

This isn't fantasyland where everything is just and good. Otherwise they would've all ditched them already. These are mega corporations looking to make big money off their investments.
 
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Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Chill No GIF by Desus & Mero


This is your comparison phil? This just sounds like desperately wanting to say something "bad" (it's not) without hurting the company image; virtue signaling.
How is this virtue signaling?
Is this another one of those terms we just throw around without actually understanding whats actually going on?

What were you expecting him to say or do.....cancel all Activision products on Xbox?......As he said its not his place to punish other teams.
But a XGS they are changing how they work with Activision, and are hoping to help Activision be better.
Its a legit response and probably the best response weve had from the platform holders.
Sony and Nintendo basically said we have an internal email....and thats pretty much it.

ITs not virtue signaling its literally the lay of the land.
Hes simply pointing out that Xbox isnt exactly a golden saint and they are working towards making a "safe" environment in the workplace.
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
This is a nice way to get at Sony for getting COD exclusive content.

Phil - “we could have, but didn’t want to. Look at Sony and their morals striking deals with this company” etc.
 
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tassletine

Member
I find it very hard to listen to people who use phrases like "Lived Experience" and "Journey". Cut the bullshit and maybe I'll take you seriously.
 

Razvedka

Member
How is this virtue signaling?
Is this another one of those terms we just throw around without actually understanding whats actually going on?

What were you expecting him to say or do.....cancel all Activision products on Xbox?......As he said its not his place to punish other teams.
But a XGS they are changing how they work with Activision, and are hoping to help Activision be better.
Its a legit response and probably the best response weve had from the platform holders.
Sony and Nintendo basically said we have an internal email....and thats pretty much it.

ITs not virtue signaling its literally the lay of the land.
Hes simply pointing out that Xbox isnt exactly a golden saint and they are working towards making a "safe" environment in the workplace.
Hiring attractive female dancers isn't bad. Even if it were bad, it's not in the same universe of deliberately covering smothering sexual harassment of your employees*.

It's false equivalence and puritanical. And yes, possibly virtue signaling.


*If true. I'm just assuming it is for sake of argument.
 
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kingfey

Member
I don't know what people really expect them to say or do. They know if they stop selling games or put in other restrictions for such a monster company then they are screwed. They aren't personally responsible for another company's actions and there's no guarantee anyone else would follow suit. Which I can guarantee none of them would, leaving them behind.

This isn't fantasyland where everything is just and good. Otherwise they would've all ditched them already. These are mega corporations looking to make big money off their investments.
Everyone has their own snakes. Attacking another company, will just be back at you, when you discover those snakes in your company.

Even is MS stops interacting with them, that is not guaranteeing these guys would stop. They will just go to another company, and do the same thing again.
 
You guys are to hard on Phil in this case.
He just said that so it's not only blaming a partner. He knows it's a huge difference.

When it comes to online MP toxicity, he also always focus on Xbox doing better first before sitting on other games, incidents or partners in the industry.
 

kyussman

Member
What does that even mean,lol.......all Microsoft staff now accompanied by security when engaging with Activision employee's.
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
How is this virtue signaling?
Is this another one of those terms we just throw around without actually understanding whats actually going on?
It's clearly virtue signaling, he can't actually say something that's bad and hurt the company image, so he throws in this false comparison in an attempt to come across more appealing. "we had 'problems' at xbox too, and are sooooo sorry about that, but we dealt with it swiftly! 😉(unlike big bad activision😤)“

What were you expecting him to say or do.....cancel all Activision products on Xbox?
Instead of making this awful comparison he could've just said nothing, it adds nothing; virtue signaling.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Bill Gates says hold my beer…. I gotta get on a flight with Jeff Epstein

Im sure all companies are trying to fix up before they have similar problems like Activision. Im sure Spencer is trying too
 
Words are meaningless, Phil. What matters is action.

Next time, hire some scantily clad male dancers and some frumpy non-gendered lumberjack ladies to dance for you.
 
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