Activision Blizzard is an industry leader for producing and designing video games. They have annual revenues of 4 billion, annual income of 2. 2 billion and total assets of 5. 5 billion. Activision, as they are commonly known, have great customer support and even better technical support, despite having to deal with one of the most impatient and finicky customer bases, the gamer. So how do they stack up in social responsibility?
As a video game company Activision does not have the usual responsibilities that other companies have. Petrol companies and other mining/energy companies have a responsibility to the public to not do unnecessary harm while pulling resources out of the earth. As a company that does little in the way of manufacturing, they do not have to worry about the state of their factories over sea or the political implications of hiring non-American workers. Instead they focus on the education side of CSR. They have partnered up with great companies like Intel, Time Warner, Xerox, and The White House in Change the Equation.
Activision wants to ensure that every child has the opportunity to actively learn the science, technology, engineering, and math subjects. George Rose, the Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, reflects the company’s policy on this new program, “STEM literacy is a business imperative for our nation’s economic excellence, success and citizenship. Our collaboration will not only help students, but will revive our economy, fuel our competitiveness, and ultimately empower our nation”. In that statement Mr.
Rose points out all of the goals of the Change the Equation movement, that that there are children who are not getting the education they require in science and technology fields, and that they need our help. Change the Equation is an evolution of an older program called Educate to Innovate which was focused on encouraging student participation in science engineering and technologies. The newly added goals for Change the Equation are as follows: * Improve science, technology, engineering, and math teaching at all levels, with a larger ethnically and gender diverse pool of teachers. Deepen student appreciation and excitement for science, technology, engineering, and math programs/careers to increase enrollment and success in a broader ethnically and gender diverse group of students * Achieve a commitment to the Change the Equation movement from business leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders through communication, collaboration, and data-based decision making By enacting on these goals a new age of culturally, racially, and gender diverse students will hopefully see the examples laid before them and want to pursue education and a career in one of those fields.
Activision’s role in this will be to hold conferences and have their developers and officers make appearances in schools across the country. This way, students that have interest in the field already will be confirmed that a career is not only possible, but also is fruitful. It will also inspire some students to look into the field of game design as a possibility and learn more about what is required of that profession. Activision will also dedicate their efforts to producing games that are not only challenging to play, but show a higher level of programming and game design.
Their recent partnership with Blizzard Entertainment shows this devotion. Blizzard is known for making extremely high quality games that are “ready when they are ready” as they will never release a game before they see it complete as a work of art. Internet safety is a growing concern in this day in age especially as younger and younger people start using the internet at home and in school. There have been a number of programs created to teach children how to be safe on the internet.
One such group is Wise Web Kids. They use a number of different methods to teach kids including classes in schools, seminars, and video games. This is where Activision has chosen to lend its aid. Activision as a video game producing company has a great wealth of resources and knowledge for Wise Web Kids to use in making its video games. This way the kids will be more likely to play the games since they will have been made by a major video game publisher instead of an internet safety organization.
The goal of getting kids to pay attention to lessons about fraud, bullying, and even sexting is achieved with Activision’s help as a game developing company and all of its branches that work on game design. Due to the partnership with Wise Web Kids, Activision puts a language filter in all of its games, and gives its games a fair rating. The rating is so that parents are aware of what kind of game they are buying for their children and Activision makes sure that no game is sold without warning that content may not be appropriate for individuals under a certain age limit.
The language filter in their online games ensures that even in the online community parents can protect their children from playing with people who would use adult language in some of the more kid friendly games. Analysis of Current Social Responsibility Activision is doing a great job performing its role as far as social responsibility goes. They are extremely aware of what their video games are doing to our society and how they are effecting America’s youth. Due to this, they want to continue to do more with regards to education and safety.
The importance of this is enormous. They have a responsibility to the public to make sure that for all the games they make that consume a large amount of children’s time across the country they also have put in the effort to make sure that those same children are getting the help they need in school and that they know the importance of learning science and math. This approach is helpful in on itself as the more that these kids learn about science and technology in school, the more they will want to go out and become the next great video game programmer or designer.
Then they will have a lasting memory built in their head about how great an influence Activision was in their life and will be more likely to work with Activision in the future. Activision’s effectively investing in its own long term research and development team by continuing to encourage youths to learn about, and master science, technology, engineering, and math classes. Internet safety has a major role to play as well. The efforts being made by Activision to create a very safe environment for children to be on the internet is astounding.
They are doing their very best to make sure that adults know that while the internet is a dangerous place for youths, it has a great amount of utility and has many tools for both education and play. These efforts, best put, are one of the most valuable investments that Activision has made over the last decade. They have opened up the market for online video game use just by making sure that parents and children alike feel better about using the internet. This return can be seen by the staggering amount of sales that Activision experiences on release days of popular online titles.
While they have made leaps and bounds more progress than other competing video game producers as far as social responsibility goes, they are leaving out an important section of being a responsible company, the environment. Activision could make efforts to reduce the amount of energy that they use for their offices and servers. They could use environmentally friendly energy sources as well. Another source of their ecological footprint is the waste made by video game boxes. There have been no efforts to reduce the waste made by across the industry and Activision stands to gain a lot of recognition by being a pioneer in that regard.
Suggested Improvements on Social Responsibility Activision’s strives in the education field are a great start but there is much more to be done. Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, should make more efforts to improve his image in the gaming community and could easily do so by showing up at more scholastic events. Simply sponsoring a few events a year at local community colleges or high schools that are open to the public would create a perfect forum. Having some of the lead designers from popular game titles talk about where they draw their inspiration from.
As a keynote speaker Kotick could inspire the youth of America to pursue their passion of video game production and focus more on the industry from a business perspective. Together these things would make Activision more transparent to investors and consumers alike. They are located in Santa Monica, California they could very easily devote some of their corporate campus to a solar farm to supply their offices with electricity. This would cut back on their offices ecological footprint as well as cut costs.
The amount of intangible value that they would gain in the long term from such an addition to the corporate campus would greatly outweigh the high initial cost. They also produce a large amount of waste during the boxing process of distributing video games. They could send word to the manufacturers and product designers that they work with that they wanted to make a move in a more green direction. By using recyclable plastics for the boxes and recycled cardboard they could easily make a cheaper more efficient product casing.
With these improvements to Activisions corporate social responsibility they then could take to marketing these changes. Just simple word of mouth talk at larger gaming conventions where they are already going to be displaying their new games and technology would be enough. At the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo there are journalists from all over the world that absorb every bit of information that the companies attending give out. Activision as a regular attendee would only have to showcase its new responsible image and would profit from it.