Gamers can’t seem to go a week without more drama surrounding Activision Blizzard coming to light. Recently, long-time Blizzard dev Geoff Frazier was fired, at least in part because of his far-right viewpoints evident in several discriminatory tirades he posted in a Discord server called ‘The Right Wing of Gaming.’
These comments first became public when Jessica Gonzalez, founder of A Better ABK, and former Senior Test Analyst at Blizzard–discovered Frazier was liquidating his 24-year collection of Blizzard game assets. Though the eBay lot has since been deleted, it contained both physical and digital assets, some of which were illegal to sell according to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez had butt heads with Frazier, with the latter trying to report the former for being “toxic” for advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Activision Blizzard. Gonzalez in turn reported Frazier for multiple instances of harassment and discrimination towards herself and others.
Now free from Blizzard, Gonzalez was able to reveal more proof of Frazier’s cruelty via snapshots of his activity in a far-right Discord server. According to Gonzalez, Frazier was “leaking sensitive employee information, objectifying interns, and outing transgender staff” in the server. The screenshots of his tirades show Frazier disparaging women and LGBTQ+ employees and engaging in toxic rhetoric full of slurs and expletives.
Geoff Frazier has worked for Blizzard for almost as long as the company has existed. Many others had stories about Frazier’s toxic behavior as far back as 20 years ago, though all seemed to indicate Frazier’s connection with corrupt high-ranking Blizzard executives protected him from consequence–a problem still present in Activision Blizzard today.
Discord has been used as a safe haven for hate groups masquerading as gaming communities for a few years now. Though originally designed for gamers, Discord was used to orchestrate the infamous alt-right Charlottesville protests in 2017. Since then, Discord has done what it can to expel these hate groups and ban their members, though doing so without breaching privacy is difficult. Though Discord has a firm stance against harassment, hate, and violence, the presence of ‘The Right Wing of Gaming’ proves there is only so much it can do against it.
Many are irritated it took Blizzard as long as it did to fire a repeat offender like Frazier. Gonzalez believed there were many other HR complaints filed against him beyond hers. The shake-up caused by the recent lawsuits against Activision Blizzard likely prompted Frazier’s expulsion, but not before he had more than two decades to help foster the toxic work environment he thrived in. Activision Blizzard promised it sought to create an inclusive culture welcoming to everyone, so many fans of Blizzard hope means the continued removal of people like Frazier and those who endorse their behavior while preventing others like them from entering into the gaming industry.