Activision Blizzard 'will not be a part' of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley says

Image for Activision Blizzard 'will not be a part' of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley says
(Image credit: The Game Awards)

Annual festival of trailers and also some trophies The Game Awards is just days away, and host Geoff Keighley has announced that "beyond its nominations" Activision Blizzard won't be involved. 

The Game Awards are "a time of celebration for this industry," he wrote on Twitter, "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 realize 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."

Since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace back in July, allegations like Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick telling an assistant he was going to have her killed have raised questions about whether it's appropriate to promote the company during a celebration of what's best about games.

In an interview with The Washington Post before this statement, Keighley was asked about Activision Blizzard's involvement with The Game Awards. "We want to support employees and developers," he said and, "We have to think very carefully about how to proceed here." While there are six major games scheduled for reveals, Keighley confirmed that neither Diablo 4 nor Overwatch 2 would be shown during this year's awards. 

Traditionally Blizzard saves big announcements about its games for BlizzCon, but Activision has shown off its games during previous The Game Awards—last year, a trailer for the first season of Call of Duty: Warzone. The advisory board, who are not involved in the nominations or voting process but instead "guide and advance the mission of The Game Awards", includes Activision president Rob Kostich.

Call of Duty is nominated for Best Esports Game and Call of Duty: Warzone for Best Ongoing this year. Here's the full list of 2021 nominees.

The Game Awards are an in-person event this year, though they'll also be livestreamed via more than 40 platforms, and will be held on December 9. As well as the absence of Activision Blizzard announcements, there won't be any NFT games.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.