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Activision barred from Game Awards 2021 but not nominations


The allegations won’t prevent it from winning any awards (pic: The Game Awards)

Geoff Keighley says Activision will not be a part of this year’s Game Awards, but the company’s games could still win their nominations.

Everyone is anticipating The Game Awards 2021 for all the new announcements, but there is a layer of awkwardness hovering over it because of the Activision Blizzard situation.

Activision is facing a serious lawsuit over gender discrimination, harassment, and abuse. Despite Activision’s attempts to placate the public, it’s reached a point where Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo seem eager to distance themselves from the company and there are a lot of demands from Activision staff for Bobby Kotick to resign as CEO.

Being a celebration of the entire industry, Activision was expected to be present at The Game Awards this year but organiser and host Geoff Keighley has now stated that Activision will not be a part of the proceedings.

‘The Game Awards is a time of celebration for this industry, the biggest form of entertainment in the world,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘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.’

Despite this quasi-ban, any Activision games nominated for awards remain, so the company can still go home with a couple of prizes under its arms if it’s lucky.

Its only two nominations are for Best Ongoing game for Call Of Duty: Warzone and Best Esports Game for Call Of Duty as a whole. Blizzard are not nominated for any awards.

This also doesn’t change the fact that Activision’s president, Rob Kostich, is on The Game Awards advisory board, which ‘helps guide and advance the mission of The Game Awards.’ Coincidentally, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, whose own company is facing similar allegations, is on the board too.

Keighley’s statement could be seen as backpedalling by some, as only a day earlier he said he was still trying to ‘navigate’ Activision’s involvement with the event.

In a Washington Post interview, he said he supported people who came forward with their stories, but he didn’t want to diminish developers’ opportunities to spotlight their games and they had to ‘think very carefully about how to proceed here.’

This perceived neutrality did not sit well with some people, who accused Keighley of being a hypocrite, considering he publicly went to bat for Hideo Kojima when Konami prevented him from attending The Game Awards in 2015.

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