After being revealed in December for a February 2022 release, LEGO have decided to pause the launch of the upcoming Overwatch 2 Titan set, as it reviews its partnership with Activision Blizzard, following sexual harassment and workplace allegations at the embattled video game developer.
Here is LEGO’s official statement:
We are currently reviewing our partnership with Activision Blizzard, given concerns about the progress being made to address continuing allegations regarding workplace culture, especially the treatment of female colleagues and creating a diverse and inclusive environment. While we complete the review, we will pause the release of a LEGO Overwatch 2 product which was due to go on sale on February 1, 2022.
The Overwatch 2 set was scheduled to be released in February 2022, with it being featured prominently in the physical and digital LEGO catalogues, with a full page devoted to the set.
Why was the Overwatch 2 set cancelled?
Now it’s not cancelled yet per se, but reading into LEGO’s statement, it looks like LEGO are reviewing their entire partnership with Activision-Blizzard.
LEGO is an extremely conservative company, and in the business of selling toys to kids. Their clean family-friendly and progressive image is of utmost importance to the brand, and are rightfully looking into whether they’d like to be affiliated with scandal-plagued Activition-Blizzard.
Here are some great articles on the Activision-Blizzard scandal surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace
Kudos to LEGO for stepping in, albeit so very close to the release date.
Reading the stories coming out of Activision-Blizzard has been excruciating, but unsurprising as sexual harassment in the workplace seems to be plaguing other video game companies as well, but for many of us who grew up with Blizzard classics like Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft, it’s just another nail in the coffin of the once-revered developer.
Guess this also smashes any hope that we’ll see a LEGO Starcraft or Warcraft theme any time soon.
Personally, I think it’s high time for Activision-Blizzard to take decisive action on this, and put in place some stronger reforms to stamp out this abhorrent behaviour, and for CEO Bobby Kotick to take personal responsibility, and resign.
If they do, I think there’s hope for the LEGO x Activision Blizzard partnership, but, I can also see LEGO cutting ties pretty easily with them. After all, LEGO did drop Shell like a sack of bricks following climate concerns way back in 2014, and LEGO are a much bigger and more established brand than Activision-Blizzard, as much as they would like to continue tapping into the gaming market.
Such a bummer, as I’ve been a fan of the Overwatch theme, and who wouldn’t want new mechs, as well as the long-awaited Mei minifigure, and I was really looking forward to this set.
Watch this space for more.
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