This is pretty misleading, because you’re comparing, well bananas and oranges.
This is major Western-based, Western-run, company full of Westerners (who are the victims and perps), whose wrong-doing is in the West. That’s the context here. That is not true of say “the Banana industry”. It would be true of say, a large law-firm. Like, Acti-Blizzard has a turnover of 8bn. I work at a lawfirm with about half that, which puts it in a very similar category. If we were 25% as bad as Blizzard apparently are, it would be front-page news in every major jurisdiction we operate in, I can assure you. Why? Because “lawyers doing bad stuff” is even bigger news - but importantly because of the Western/Western/Westerners factor.
You’re overestimating how big this news is more broadly, because you’re within the game-o-sphere, like it or not.
So, no you could not “say the same for probably most industries”. This is a bizarre minimization (intended or not), that I’ve seen way too many times. No, this isn’t normal. No, there aren’t loads of other Western/Western/Westerner industries where this sort of thing is going on. It’s profoundly abnormal and fucked-up in the extreme.
And it’s no accident at all that this stuff is associated with the gaming industry in particular, because that has different social norms, level of professionalism, and types of acceptable behaviour to even other parts of the software industry, let alone other industries as a whole. I have worked at a place this bad - a quite-successful and utterly horrific advertising company in London in 2000. It eventually crashed and burned, precisely because of this kind of behaviour.
Whilst it’s true things will likely improve, please note that they got much, much worse before they got better. In the 1980s, and most of the 1990s, this was not how it was at most gaming studios/publishers. Female developers were treated with more respect, and as a percentage, there were more of them, in the 1980s, and early 1990s, than there were until pretty recently (like last 5 years or so). Why? Because games were just seen as software, to a large degree, and software developers were more professional. But in the 1990s, these sort of “frat-ish” gaming companies started appearing, and they’ve kept appearing, all the way to Riot (2006), and probably beyond. What is unusual is that these companies were formed by people who thought that following rules and social norms wasn’t cool or fun, and whilst that may sometimes be positive for some employees, especially if they like playing ping-pong and drinking beer (or indeed playing beer-pong) in the middle of the workday, on a Wednesday, it also almost always accompanies a “bro”-ish culture that thinks racism/homophobia/misogyny is “funny”, and being a rape-y creep is perhaps frowned upon, but also largely laughed off, and there’s a general “snitches get stitches” culture re complaints, with a feeling that complainers are party-poopers who should just leave. I suspect id only avoided it because of their low number of employees and the fact that they seem to be too nerdy to think fratboy shit is cool.
We’ve got a ton of evidence that gaming is worse than other Western/Western/Westerner-type industries. It’s absolutely certainly worse than say, software development in general, for example, and so acting like it’s just a matter of it “being reported” or “people being liberals” is frankly delusional. And the gender gap isn’t the issue here - sexual harassment and abuse is. I daresay some industries with bigger gender gaps have less of that, per female employee, simply because they’re more professional, and people who behave like absolute louts get fired, not promoted.
There’s a big giveaway here too.
The investigation started two years ago.
In the last two years, especially over a year ago, Blizzard has lost a ton of extremely senior/experienced people. Many not going to other jobs directly, but just quitting, or going to work on “personal projects”. I cannot doubt that this investigation spurred that, especially as one of the people named as particularly bad, Alex Afrasiabi, left in that period, and not to another job immediately.
So that’s extremely suggestive that pretty much all those people knew exactly what was going on, and just wanted to get “clear of the blast radius” before things went up. Of course, the problem is several of them are egotistical shitheads who couldn’t stay quiet. Chris Metzen issued a statement which was godawful, and basically could only be read as either him being so wilfully ignorant and/or dumb that he didn’t know, which would have been beyond unprofessional, and well into “I don’t actually do a job!”, or knowing and lying about it. Mike Morhaime’s statement (who was in charge through the entire period) was similarly godawful.
Back on Afrasiabi, he’s a great example of someone who behaved appallingly and kept getting promoted. He was a godawful flame-war starting sack of shit online before Blizzard hired him (not as bad as Jeffrey Kaplan, but that’s another story), and once hired by Blizzard, he continued to behave badly towards people outside of Blizzard, and, we now see, inside of Blizzard. And kept getting promoted and promoted and promoted. There’s absolutely no possibility that Blizzard weren’t aware of how bad his behaviour was - but those chose to continually reward it. The particularly sad thing is, he isn’t even a talented dev. In fact his and Kaplan’s early promotions were so unearned it lead to a wave of people quitting Blizzard not long after WoW launched, and all he’s really done over the years is leave a wake of characters and quests through WoW literally named after himself (ego? talentlessness? both?).
That’s not normal for the last 20 years in really any industry. That level of well-known bad behaviour is a huge legal risk, and he wasn’t anyone vital. Yet they promoted him consistently until he vanished under mysterious circumstances two years ago (in a metaphorical sense).
Your point that it’s specific companies and the old guard is somewhat true, but the old guard here is like 40-something, for the most part. Not like, 60-something. And it’s professionalism of the companies that’s the issue. Rockstar and Blizzard were companies formed by people who thought they were better than rules, same for Riot. Ubisoft it seems to have been more of a “the fish rots from the head down” issue - they installed a literal sex-offender at the very top of the company’s decision-making process, and the people who he liked and ensured were promoted were, no surprise, creeps, pervs and fellow sex-offenders. They didn’t have the fratboy culture, they have a culture which deified this one creep, and allowed him to control everything.
Again, this isn’t normal. This isn’t secretly happening in the same way, on the same relative scale, at Microsoft, or Oracle, or even Sony. Why? Because they’re normal companies normal people work for, and where people are expected to follow rules.
The poor pay/conditions is part of this too, note. Because people are desperate to be in the gaming industry and see it as special, it’s much easier to exploit them, whether financially or sexually.
(As an aside, re: LGBTQ+, I strongly suspect that’s mostly at the more professional companies. I know EA, much as people may hate them, were good on that long before other companies in the industry, or even the greater software industry were. My friend transitioned whilst working at EA and they were extremely good to her, and she kept her job, kept her friends there, got time off when she needed it for stuff, and indeed kept working there for a long time. They did have some crunch time stuff, though not the months-long stuff we often hear about, and again, treated her well and professionally the whole time.)