“Beyond its nominations, I can confirm that Activision Blizzard will not be a part of this year’s Game Awards,” Keighley said.
“The Game Awards is a time of celebration for this industry, the biggest form of entertainment in the world. There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community.
“I also realise we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games. All of us are accountable to this standard.
The Game Awards - 2021 nominees
“Incredible games – and the talented developers who build them – are who we want to celebrate. See you on Thursday.”
Keighley’s statement comes in the wake of some criticism following a Washington Post interview published on Friday in which he appeared to be indecisive about whether Activision Blizzard should be involved in the show.
During that interview, Keighley explained that while he supported the people making claims of harassment and discrimination against the company, he also wanted to celebrate the games developers were making.
“We want to support employees and developers,” Keighley said during the interview. “We have to think very carefully about how to proceed here.”
It would appear his stance has since changed, and Activision Blizzard’s games will not feature as part of the show.
Activision Blizzard has continued to find itself under heavy criticism for its perceived continued failure to properly address allegations of harassment and discrimination at the company.
Last month a Wall Street Journal report alleged that CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of multiple sexual misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard, and also accused him of personally mistreating several female employees.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple regulatory investigations over alleged sexual assaults and harassment of female employees, much of which has centred around World of Warcraft developer Blizzard.
However, the Wall Street Journal report claimed that instances of sexual assault and mistreatment have been widespread at the company, including at Call of Duty development studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games.
Following the report, Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser, PlayStation chief Jim Ryan and Xbox head Phil Spencer all sent separate emails to their respective staff expressing concern at Activision’s response to sexual harassment allegations.
Kotick has reportedly told senior managers he would be willing to resign if he can’t “quickly fix” the culture problems at the company.
While last year’s Game Awards show was not filmed in front of a live audience due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Game Awards 2021 will be an in-person event at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 9.
The eighth edition of the annual event will be a major production featuring an on-stage orchestra, celebrity guests, the actual awards, and a host of game reveals.
2020’s show saw reveals of a reboot of Perfect Dark and an untitled Mass Effect game from Bioware.