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Raven staff walk out to protest Warzone QA team layoffs

Raven staff walk out to protest Warzone QA team layoffs

Staff at Activision's Raven Software studio walked out yesterday (Monday, December 6th) in protest of the firm laying off members of its quality assurance team.

In a post on Twitter, the A Better ABK workers organisation said that staff in the QA department and others at the developer were walking out following the company terminating the contracts of 12 testers. A Better ABK says that there was no reason to let these people – who primarily work on the lucrative Call of Duty: Warzone – go. 

"These individuals were let go in 'good standing,' meaning they had not underperformed or committed any fireable offense," the organisation wrote.

The majority of those who were not let go on December 3rd are still unsure about the status of their employment. These personnel cuts come after five weeks of overtime, and before an anticipated end of year crunch. The QA team, which at this point in time mainly works on Call of Duty: Warzone so far has been reduced by just over 30 per cent.

"This team was told multiple times by Raven leadership that there were positive departmental changes coming. These upcoming changes were also used as the reason why no members of the team received standard promotions or raises that were meant to be in place by March of 2021."

In a statement to Polygon, an Activision spokesperson said that the company was making more contractors full-time employees in the future.

"Activision Publishing is growing its overall investment in its development and operations resources," a rep said.

"We are converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months. Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended."

This is the latest point of tension between Activision Blizzard and staff at the company.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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