Advancing More Diverse and Inclusive Communities
Activision Blizzard supports a broad and diverse player base of approximately 400 million players, with over 100 million players in each key region we operate—EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas. And we estimate that approximately half of our players are women. Our diverse players and employees find purpose and meaning through connection and engagement.
At the same time, video games are redefining what it means to interact socially. Games empower players to take ownership of their interactive experiences and share those experiences across a global community. They offer an unparalleled storytelling capability, a multitude of options to personalize the player experience, and a massive number of ways to communicate, compete, and collaborate. The gaming ecosystem is ripe for social interactions that connect people more deeply than any other form of media.
We have created some of the most diverse games in the world. They increasingly reflect our gaming communities, and we believe that content designed with diversity and inclusion in mind, enables these global communities to grow. It also drives deeper engagement, as fans—both new and old—connect with us in new and meaningful ways.
Our games can responsibly influence popular culture, eliminate stereotypes, celebrate differences, and encourage the hundreds of millions of people we reach to embrace tolerance and understanding.
Advancing Diversity in Our Games and Communities
We have created some of the most diverse games in the world intentionally, by creating innovative tools, training, and practices to ensure our players see themselves reflected in our games, including characters of color, characters from the LGBTQ+ community, characters of differing abilities, and non-binary characters.
One example of this is in Overwatch® which features one of the most diverse cast of characters in any video game. Of its 32 heroes, there are 13 women, 12 heroes of color, two LGBTQ+ heroes, and one hero on the autism spectrum. The most prominent—and one of the most effective—of our heroes, Tracer, is both a woman and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Importantly, advancing diversity extends beyond our games and into the communities we support. A beautiful example of the impact of this culture is our Overwatch league, where we celebrate and welcome the aspects that make each of us unique and look to reflect them in the worlds we create
Making Our Games Accessible to All Players
Our players come to our games with varying needs, abilities, and preferences. We know that inclusive design considerations can help create accommodations and rich experiences that are enjoyable for all. We continue to invest in employees who are building industry-leading technology to help ensure great playing experiences that are accessible by all.
(Senior Designer, Toys for Bob)
“Accessibility is about making sure that everyone, regardless of their ability, can experience the joys, the challenges, the hardships, maybe the sorrows of what a game brings about.
To know that accessibility is valued, that it has been almost pushed to the brink of being an expected outcome of our games to be inclusive, I cannot express how amazing that feels.”
Please share your perspective on how we continue to make our games more accessible and inclusive here.
Ensuring Safe, Private Environment for our Gamers
We honor the trust our customers put in us. They expect to feel safe playing our games and to know that we are guarding the data that they share with us. We run our business mindful of the trust we have earned, and mindful that we must continue to earn it each and every day. We want our content and esports leagues to continue to be inclusive and secure platforms where players are celebrated, and fans can come together over a shared passion for our games.
While there is dedicated work left to do, we are proud of our employees who dedicate their time to ensuring our platforms are ones of fun, joy and connection.
(Senior Research Scientist, Blizzard)
“I see player communities as a reflection of our society. While games can reflect the peak of humanity – collaborating with others, making friends, and solving challenges with strategy and tactics – it also reflects the problems and discrimination we see on a societal level around the world.
As developers, it is our responsibility to understand the impacts of disruptive behaviors in our communities, to act as moderators to eradicate those unacceptable behaviors, to encourage and foster fair, safe, and inclusive communities, and to help the next generation become responsible members of the gaming community.
Behavior by Design and the Fair Play Alliance are initiatives that move player communities in that direction, encourage me to be my best at working towards that goal, and inspire me to believe that we will design a better future for online gaming.”
Responding to Community Need
Our ability to drive positive impact reaches beyond our products and our operations.
Even as we pursue our mission to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, we recognize a responsibility to the communities that support us: the communities where we live and the community of veterans who have served to keep us safe. We are a leading supporter of veterans through the Call of Duty Endowment, and we respond to community need when identified through targeted CSR Efforts such as our Veterans Day of Service.
Veterans Day of Service
In 2019, when in-person service opportunities were possible, we held our 6th annual Veterans Day of Service. This is just one story of many when our High Moon employees supported a Veteran family in need.
We continued this tradition virtually in 2020, with the 7th annual Veterans Day of Service.
We also invest in targeted community efforts when need is identified. As just one example, in Overwatch we launched in-game charity drive in 2018 with the custom creation of a playable character skin, Pink Mercy.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Overwatch community during the Pink Mercy charity campaign, we’ve raised more than $12.7 million (USD) to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
This is the largest donation by a corporate partner within one year in BCRF’s 25-year history, a testament to how passionate and how generous our communities are.