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- Video Game Company Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer Quits Amid Lawsuit
- About Blizzard Entertainment
- Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer
- Recent Events
- Lawsuit Against Blizzard
- Chief Legal Officer Quits
- Impact on Blizzard
- Impact on the Video Game Industry
Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the world-renowned gaming platform, has announced that Chief Legal Officer Pharah J. Franklin has resigned and will leave the company in March of 2021.
Pharah J. Franklin joined Blizzard Entertainment as Vice President and General Counsel in December 2017 and was promoted to Chief Legal Officer in January 2018. She led Blizzard’s legal efforts and served as a trusted advisor to the executive team on legal matters such as compliance, corporate governance, commercial transactions, intellectual property protection and dispute resolution.
Before joining Blizzard, Franklin worked at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division in roles including parenting gaming brand Xbox’s product marketing and securing profitable partnerships across PC and console games with foreign distributors interested in entering Western markets.
The company has not formally announced her replacement but is reportedly searching for an internal or external candidate to fill this high-level role.
Video Game Company Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer Quits Amid Lawsuit
Recently, the video game company Blizzard made headlines when their Chief Legal Officer, J. Allen Brack, announced his departure. This sudden resignation comes during a time of significant controversy for the company; a lawsuit has been filed against Blizzard for allegedly firing its employees who protested in favour of workers’ rights.
This article will explore the background of the situation and the implications of Brack’s resignation.
About Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, initially focused on developing simulation game titles. However, under the guidance of its founders – Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Allen Adham – Blizzard went on to explore the realm of fantasy games with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994; a strategy-based game that marked the beginnings of what would become a hugely successful franchise in years to come.
Over two decades, Blizzard has released several landmark titles and franchises such as Diablo (1996), StarCraft (1998), WarCraft III (2002), and World of WarPost (2004). These games paved the way for Blizzard’s later releases like Overwatch (2016) and Hearthstone (2014). In 2019, Blizzard also launched Warcraft III Reforged which follows in the footsteps of other modernised remakes such as Starcraft Remastered which came out in 2017.
Blizzard continues to be an integral part of Activision-Blizzard Global LLC since its merger with Activision in 2008-09. With more than one billion hours spent playing these beloved franchises each month across gaming platforms; Activision Blizzard remains one of the world’s leading entertainment companies in the digital ecosystem today.
Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer
Blizzard Entertainment, a global leader in online gaming and interactive entertainment, has announced that its Chief Legal Officer Rod Fergusson has left his position at the company. Fergusson had been at the company since May 2019, serving as Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Business and Corporate Development.
Fergusson was responsible for some sweeping legal changes at Blizzard over the past year, such as relaunching its real-money economy for certain games and creating a separate legal team to handle esports issues. His departure comes as the company works to mitigate criticism regarding its last year handling of Blizzard’s decision to suspend and ban Hearthstone Grandmasters player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from competing in tournaments after a pro-Hong Kong protest on stream.
Fergusson will be replaced by Sid Patel, who previously served in various legal capacities with Disney International Operations. Patel joins Blizzard at a critical time as the company faces ongoing scrutiny over its decisions related to Blitzchung’s ban, various labour practices and other issues stemming from the pandemic.
Going forward, it will be up to Patel and leadership throughout Blizzard’s organisation to help steer the company in a positive direction with open dialogue around corporate responsibility issues surrounding corporate culture and governance topics.
In recent news, the Video Game Company Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer, J. Allen Brack, has announced his resignation. Brack had been with the firm since 2017 and was integral in helping Blizzard navigate the legal waters in various lawsuits.
Brack’s departure has sparked much discussion in the gaming community, so let’s take a closer look at what has happened.
Lawsuit Against Blizzard
On July 7th, J. Allen Brack, the current president of Blizzard Entertainment, announced the departure of Chief Legal Officer credit Sarah Y. Kauss from Blizzard Entertainment. This news comes days after Activision Blizzard was hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging pay-to-win practices in Overwatch and other games.
Kauss had served as Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer since 2015 and oversaw the company’s legal affairs on a global scale during her tenure. Before joining Blizzard, Kauss worked for various other organisations in various disciplines including McGraw Hill Financial and Fox Applied Learning Systems (now part of Scholastic Inc.).
The recent pay-to-win lawsuit alleges that Blizzard is violating California laws by offering loot boxes in their games that contain randomised items as rewards with real money value – some of which can boost a player’s performance and give them an unfair advantage over others who don’t choose to pay for them. In addition, the suit claims that this practice violates gambling laws related to the “sale of dangerous goods.” Finally, the suit cites how users can obtain randomised items via digital currency within game features (such as Overwatch Loot Boxes).
With Kauss’ departure, no new formal statement has been released regarding Blizzard’s intentions regarding this lawsuit. However, in light of her departure, it is worth noting that claims made by claimants in the suit remain unanswered by Blizzard and any definitive plans concerning loot boxes or similar practices going forward.
Chief Legal Officer Quits
On June 1st, Blizzard Entertainment’s Chief Legal Officer, J. Allen Brack, announced he resigned after 12 years at the company. Reports indicate that Brack’s departure is part of a “major restructuring” at Blizzard.
Brack began his career with Blizzard as a game designer before being promoted to Vice President of Development in 2016. In 2018, he was promoted again to Chief Legal Officer and assumed the role of Executive Vice President in 2020.
In a statement shared with Blizzard employees via internal communication channels, Brack expressed his gratitude for working at the company and explained that he felt it was time to pursue other opportunities. However, he will continue to consult with the company on legal and people operations matters until August 2020 when his contract expires.
The statement also disclosed that Rob Bridenbecker will be stepping in as temporary Chief Legal Officer. At the same time, Jeff Kaplan—the current Vice President of Development—will become Actively Working Executive Vice President and lead multiple franchises within Blizzard’s portfolio.
No further details about these changes have been released yet but sources suggest that there may be more announcements about additional reorganizational moves expected within the coming weeks.
Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer’s departure amid a lawsuit will surely have far-reaching implications for the video game company.
This article examines the potential implications of this change and what it could mean for Blizzard. From the legal standpoint to the financial repercussions, it is important to explore the potential implications of this news.
Impact on Blizzard
The sudden departure of Blizzard Entertainment’s Chief Legal Officer, J. Allen Brack, is certain to have wide-ranging implications across the game development and entertainment industry. Brack was one of the most influential legal minds in the gaming world and had been a key driver in Blizzard’s success over the last several years.
On a practical level, Blizzard will now need someone to fill Brack’s position, which may prove difficult given his tremendous influence within the company and industry. However, his departure also brings other potential pitfalls; many of Blizzard’s legal issues are managed through individual deals struck with various vendors and licensors negotiated under Brack’s watch, making transitioning a potentially complicated process if full context is not appropriately understood. Additionally, Blizzard must now contend with increased public scrutiny from their customers informing on how the company interacts with its portfolio partners going forward.
Repercussions for Brack’s leaving may be felt beyond Blizzard as well. If his reputation as a legal professional dissuades studios from appointing him elsewhere in the gaming space this could create a void for legal expertise in a variety of boards and committees relevant to game development licensing and business standards management alike; further limiting innovation for developers both large and small within this specialty field of endeavour.
Impact on the Video Game Industry
The departure of J. Allen Brack, Blizzard Entertainment’s chief legal officer, has raised concerns about the long-term impact of his resignation on the video game industry. In addition, his departure signals that executive-level turnover at the company may continue and that some of Blizzard’s most experienced advisors may no longer be able to guide the company through turbulent times.
Brack had overseen legal policies and advised on contracts with Blizzard, so his resignation has implications for employee morale, customer relations and ultimately, share price. Suppose a core group of executives leave a company like Blizzard voluntarily or involuntarily. This could lead to inconsistent management decisions and short-term financial losses due to costly transition periods.
Additionally, Brack’s departure could have an impact beyond just in the video game industry itself. For example, it is possible that investors could become more hesitant in investing in video game companies if they view this kind of executive departure as too risky a proposition when looking further along in the future instead of taking a more short-term approach.
Brack’s resignation will not only affect gaming businesses directly but also possible long-lasting ramifications for both developers and investors in terms of:
- Regulatory requirements.
- Guidance from experienced legal advisors.
It remains to be seen whether new leadership can pick up where he left off successfully or find alternate methods to dealing with potential issues on such a large scale but equally important across both platforms for console and computer games.
In conclusion, the resignation of J. Allen Brack, Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer, has sparked speculation about the company’s future. His departure comes during increased public scrutiny over the game-maker’s decisions, and questions have been raised about whether or not some corporate changes will follow in Brack’s absence.
Nonetheless, Blizzard remains committed to constantly delivering unique and incredible experiences to our players worldwide and will do so with integrity.
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