Jen Oneal, the Co-Director of Activision Blizzard leaves his charge after three months
In a press release published on the night of Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the co-director of Blizzard Entertainment, Jen Oneal, announced the resignation of his position immediately. Now, Mike Ybarra takes the reins of Blizzard Entertainment alone.
Translation of the official press release of JEN ONEAL
In the community of Blizzard,
During the last few months, many of us have taken the time to consider how we can achieve the most positive change in our workplaces, in our games and in our communities.
In a macro level, Mike Ybarra and I, along with the rest of Blizzard, navigate in search of significant changes that we needed to do to be known as the creative power that attracted hundreds of millions of players to Azeroth, Sanctuary and more, at the time that we make sure that our work and game communities are truly inclusive, safe and welcoming for everyone.
A micro level, when listening to the stories of people inside Blizzard and inspiring me for their courage and beliefs, I have reflected on the potential of what I can do as an individual to create the most significant change possible. In the last 20 years of my career I loved developing games, they are my soul. I have also had the luck to find my passion and my voice in the struggle for diversity, equity and inclusion on the way.
They of you who have played our games will know that sometimes our adventures can keep them active in the heart of the search they have undertaken, but sometimes a new search catches them.
I want you to personally listen to me to say that I have made the decision to withdraw from the Codirector Directorate of Blizzard Entertainment and will officiate in a new position before leaving AbK at the end of the year. With immediate effect, Mike Ybarra will direct Blizzard. I do not do this because I do not have hopes for Blizzard, quite the opposite: Inspire me the passion of all those who work here with all their hearts to achieve a significant and lasting change. This energy has inspired me out and explore how I can do more so that games and diversity cross on the road, and I hope to have an even greater impact on the industry that will also benefit Blizzard (and other studies). While I m not completely sure how this will take this, I m excited to embark on a new trip.
ABK management gently supports my decision and worked with me in a plan to invest in the future of other women in the videogame industry by accepting a grant from one million dollars to Women in Games International, a fantastic non-ends organization of Profit, that I am a member of the Board, which cultivates and promotes equality and diversity in the global gaming industry. This money will be used to finance tutoring and professional development programs.
With the time I have left here, I will transfer my responsibilities to Mike and assume a new role working in close collaboration with Activision Blizzard and Wigi to determine the first stages of the use of the subsidy and its structure. This association is full of potential and is one more step in a long-term commitment to create better support, but also resources and guidance for women in the game industry.
Mike has supported me a lot during my decision-making process with respect to this change, and I have full confidence in him as director of Blizzard. Mike and I have worked together to develop many actions that we will continue to develop to continue making Blizzard a safer, stronger and inclusive workplace, and I know he plans to share some of those actions with you soon.
I may say this personally to the Blizzard community because I want you to know that I firmly believe in Mike and in the rest of Blizzard s leadership, both in terms of culture and the Games offered by Blizzard. The best days of Blizzard are coming. I really believe it. I also hope that this letter will help you think about what you can do so that all those around you, regardless of your kind, race or identity, feel welcome, comfortable and free to share.
Gacias for the support they have given our teams during the last months. I know that your positive messages have greatly helped ours during this time.
And everyone in Blizzard, thank you for your honesty, your faith in a better future and its incredible work ethic, creativity and passion. You inspired me to find my own way of defending the cause of equality and I hope you inspire our players to do the same.