Treyarch studio head quits after sexual harassment accusations

Content warning: This story contains description of alleged sexual assault.

The co-head of Call of Duty developer Treyarch, Dan Bunting, has quit the studio following a report in the Wall Street Journal.

  • READ MORE: Sexual harassment claims, lawsuits, and several high profile departures – what’s going on with Activision Blizzard?

The report, which also points at Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick as being aware of the allegations, reveals that Bunting was the focus of an internal investigation in 2019 over claims that he sexually harassed a female employee in 2017. Kotick allegedly intervened in the proposed firing of Bunting at the time.

An Activision spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that “other disciplinary measures” were imposed on Bunting, however, Bunting left the company following enquires about the investigation and the Wall Street Journal report.

Bunting had worked at Treyarch for 18 years, contributing to several Call of Duty titles alongside studio head Mark Gordon. This included last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, as well as assisting with the zombie mode for Call of Duty: Vanguard. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Credit: Raven Software / Treyarch

It has been alleged that Kotick himself also left a voicemail in 2006 telling a female worker he would “have her killed”, to which an Activision spokesperson replied: “Mr. Kotick quickly apologized 16 years ago for the obviously hyperbolic and inappropriate voice mail, and he deeply regrets the exaggeration and tone in his voice mail to this day.”

Following The Wall Street Journal’s article, Kotick has released a statement that says today’s news “paints an inaccurate and misleading view of our company, of me personally, and my leadership”.

The CEO also said that “anyone who doubts my conviction to be the most welcoming, inclusive workplace doesn’t really appreciate how important this is to me”. You can read the full statement here.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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