The previously reported QA walkout at Call of Duty devs, Raven Software, appears to be making an even bigger wave. As we reported yesterday, a series of layoffs inside the Quality Assurance department at the studio evolved into a planned walkout. Nearly a dozen temporary QA staff were laid off after Activision decided they were redundant. Now, it appears Blizzard QA is stepping in as an act of solidarity.
Staff from multiple departments from within various studios the Activision-Blizzard umbrella have now joined the pseudo-strike. “Today workers from Raven QA are walking out for the second day in a row. They are joined by workers from QATX, QAMN, and Blizzard QA,” said an announcement from the ABetterABK Twitter account. This account acts as a mouthpiece for groups of disgruntled workers within the conglomerate.
Like we said yesterday, this controversy could not come at a worse time for management at Activision-Blizzard. This all comes after Activision made a reported $3 billion from Call of Duty in 2020, and refused to offer better pay and a substantive solution to various issues. And let’s not forget that Activision Blizzard has become infamous for mass layoffs over the years.
And it would appear that the situation is a bit direr than first thought. According to The Washington Post, however, employees said that the layoffs were part of a plan to restructure the studio. Whether that means good or bad tidings, is unclear. The company recently relocated some staff, without assistance, to the Wisconsin studio. That is a sign that the company is very likely to not care what happens to these employees. Of the staff that remains, there are rumblings that they could be fired. The remaining contractors will be notified of their employment status this week.
Quality Assurance has long gotten dealt bad hands in the games industry. Often typecast as low-effort by elitist elements within the industry, these staff are seen as expendable. Now, it looks like things are changing for the better.