With the numerous allegations and controversies rocking the games industry at present, it may come as something of a surprise to see a major company taking real action. But that appears to be the case with Electronic Arts which, following on from its statement on harassment and abuse in 2020, has seemingly implemented some meaningful changes in its working culture and community.
Speaking with The Guardian’s Keza MacDonald, EA chief experience officer Chris Bruzzo described creating a more positive environment at the company, a process that reportedly began four years ago. Bruzzo claims that EA has “made significant investments and seriously stepped up consequences in our offices all over the world,” and doesn’t object to getting his own hands dirty either: “I myself have exited several people from the company in the past five years,” he said.
Bruzzo appears realistic about the amount of effort and work that it takes to reform an entire industry, but he is confident that gaming’s big companies have the power and the resources to affect that change. He listed some of the things EA has done in the last few years, including unconscious bias training, workable reporting tools, and more diverse hiring practices. In fact, as MacDonald notes, EA is even that rare company that has managed to close its gender pay gap, according to internal sources.
The industry clearly still has a long way to come, but if major players like EA are willing to lead by example, perhaps change could still be in the cards. At the very least, we may see a little less milquetoast apologia from companies unwilling to invest the money in making their workplaces safer and better.