Activision has delayed the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone's new map by a week amid the ongoing turmoil at the under-fire publisher.
A tweet issued last night from the official Call of Duty account signalled that Season 1 of Sledgehammer's Call of Duty: Vanguard and the Caldera map for battle royale Warzone now release on 8th December. Vanguard owners get 24-hour first-play access to the Pacific-set map, with open access kicking off a day later, on 9th December.
Caldera was meant to launch on Thursday, 2nd December 2nd for Call of Duty: Vanguard players and a day later for everyone else.
The news comes as Activision faces increasing pressure to oust CEO Bobby Kotick.
More than 1700 employees from Activision Blizzard have now signed a petition calling for Bobby Kotick to resign following this week's bombshell report into what the company CEO knew of harassment inside the company - and what he allegedly failed to fully act upon.
The petition was organised by Activision Blizzard employee group ABK Workers Alliance. Its text states employees "no longer have confidence in the leadership of Bobby Kotick", and asks that the CEO remove himself from his position. It also asks shareholders to elect a new CEO without Kotick's input - despite the controversial boss owning a large portion of shareholder voting rights.
This week, Activision Blizzard executives told staff they did not "have evidence" of Kotick's own alleged harassment of employees (such as the time he is claimed to have threatened to kill a staff member) as these occurred over a decade ago. Therefore, the company's recently-instated zero-tolerance policy on harassment could not apply.
Pressure on Kotick has come from outside Activision, too. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly expressed "deep concern" to Sony staff over this week's Activision Blizzard allegations. "We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation," Ryan wrote in an unprecedented email. And Xbox chief Phil Spencer told Microsoft employees he was "evaluating all aspects" of the company's relationship with Activision Blizzard.
Activision did not explain the delays to Vanguard Season 1 and Warzone's new map. According to Dot Esports, just 24 hours before the damning Wall Street Journal investigation was published, Activision told employees they had all of next week off.
"The company has been working on a series of wellness initiatives to allow our employees time to unplug and recharge, and we have been rolling them out over the last several weeks," Activision Blizzard said in a statement.