Welcome to Get Your Game On! We’ve got an… interesting theme here this week. Let’s go:
Substack VP Lulu Cheng Meservey Joins Activision Blizzard Board
Activision Blizzard is a legendary company at an important juncture in its progression journey. I’m honored to join this impressive board as the company focuses on winning for employees, investors, and hundreds of millions of players worldwide. Lots left to unlock, let’s go https://t.co/h2cbOy4vI0
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) April 21, 2022
As the latest in its series of poor choices, Activision Blizzard elected Lulu Cheng Meservey, Substack’s VP of Communications, to its board of directors. Meservey’s election to the board came after Activision Blizzard acknowledged the company was non-compliant with a California law that requires publicly traded companies with six or more board members to have at least three women on the board by December 31, 2021. Prior to Meservey’s election, there were only two women on the board of 10 people.
Meservey’s election came shortly after this passive-aggressive alt-lite tweet:
Substack is hiring!
If you’re a Twitter employee who’s considering resigning because you’re worried about Elon Musk pushing for less regulated speech… please do not come work here.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) April 5, 2022
Of course, Substack is also no stranger to the kind of grossness Meservy espouses. For those unfamiliar, Substack is a newsletter subscription service that faced criticism in 2021 for platforming transphobic writers with their Substack Pro model that offers advances to writers for their newsletters. Despite protests and the loss of several high-profile writers, Substack has continued to maintain relations with transphobes.
Bobby Kotick’s Girlfriend Allegedly Kept Stories of Him out of a British Newspaper
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg, who dated Bobby Kotick from 2016 to 2019, allegedly reached out to MailOnline, the Daily Mail’s digital edition, in 2016 and again in 2019 to stop MailOnline from reporting on a 2014 temporary restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend of Kotick. The Journal also reported that Sandberg and Kotick worked with “a team that included Facebook and Activision employees as well as paid outside advisers” to stop the story from running. Sandberg, who gained a reputation as an advocate for workplace gender equality with her 2013 book Lean In, was allegedly concerned that the report would damage that reputation. (Maybe don’t date terrible people and you won’t have to worry about them ruining your reputation? Just a thought).
According to Business Insider, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors is aware of the events and has found “no merit to the allegations.” Although Meta is also reviewing Sandberg, they currently maintain that Sandberg did not leverage her position to threaten MailOnline’s relationship with Facebook.
GOG to Begin Offering Menstrual Leave, CD Projekt Red “Looking Into” It
GOG, a subsidiary of CD Projekt, announced several weeks ago that it would begin offering menstrual leave to all menstruating employees. “By giving additional days off for those experiencing menstrual period pain, we acknowledge these symptoms are real,” their LinkedIn post stated.
Robert Zak of PC Gamer spoke to CD Projekt PR Director Radek Grabowski about the possibility of menstrual leave extending to the parent company. “GOG is spearheading the initiative, and we’re looking into it further for the whole CD Projekt.”
In other news…
The National Labor Relations Board ruled on April 22 to allow Raven Software’s QA team to vote on unionizing. As reported last week, Activision Blizzard recently converted all QA jobs to full-time roles except at Raven Software, which has been fighting to unionize since January. Activision Blizzard plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision (because of course they do).
The Activision Blizzard investor lawsuit has been dismissed. Plaintiffs will be eligible to file another complaint in 30 days.
Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit focused on protecting consumers from deceptive marketing, has filed a complaint with the FTC against Roblox. Primarily aimed at children, Roblox has “failed to establish any meaningful guardrails to ensure compliance with truth in advertising laws” which has resulted in undisclosed advertisements targeting an audience who doesn’t know what they’re really interacting with (bots, they’re interacting with company-owned bots). The 44-page complaint can be found here.
An anonymous contractor filed a complaint with the NLRB against Nintendo of America and the contracting company Aston Carter. First reported by Axios, the complaint alleges that Nintendo of America “engaged in concerted activities” and “coercive actions” against the worker. In a statement to Kotaku, Nintendo responded that they “are aware of the claim, which was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a contractor who was previously terminated for the disclosure of confidential information and for no other reason.”
According to Bloomberg, Ubisoft is “attracting preliminary takeover interest from buyout funds.” However, there isn’t a lot of concrete information yet; Ubisoft and potential buyers have all declined to comment.
December Cuccaro (she/her) is an MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno and a member of the 2021 Clarion West cohort. When not rambling about video games, she writes about sapphic werewolves and sad necromancers searching for friendship.