On Tuesday, a Wall Street Journal report alleged that Kotick was aware of multiple sexual misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard, and also accused him of personally mistreating several female employees.
It’s claimed (via Bloomberg) that PlayStation boss Jim Ryan sent an email to employees on Tuesday, following the publication of the WSJ report.
He is said to have written that he and his leadership team were “disheartened and frankly stunned to read” that Activision “has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”
“We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article,” he wrote. “We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
PlayStation has had a long relationship with Activision on its brands such as Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
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 new Wall Street Journal report claims that instances of sexual assault and mistreatment have been widespread at the company, including at Call of Duty development studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games.
While Kotick reportedly told company directors and other executives that he was unaware of many of the allegations, the WSJ said it had received evidence to the contrary from various sources including interviews with former employees and internal Activision documents.
Kotick has also been accused of mistreating several female employees, including leaving a voicemail in 2006 in which he threatened to have an assistant killed.
An Activision spokeswoman said of the accusation: “Mr. Kotick quickly apologized 16 years ago for the obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voice mail, and he deeply regrets the exaggeration and tone in his voice mail to this day.”
On Tuesday, the Activision Blizzard King Workers Alliance said it would stage a walkout and demanded Kotick’s resignation.
“We have instituted our own Zero Tolerance Policy,” it wrote. “We will not be silenced until Bobby Kotick has been replaced as CEO, and continue to hold our original demand for Third-Party review by an employee-chosen source.”