Activision Blizzard Workers Stage Walkout Following Raven Software Call Of Duty Layoffs
Last Friday, 12 QA testers working at Raven Software lost their jobs. After relocating to Wisconsin on their own dime and after numerous assurances from the studio that not only were their jobs secure but they would soon see beneficial changes in their pay structure, executives had those 12 employees file into an office for summary termination.
Today, Raven Software's entire QA team just walked off the job.
"Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk," reads an official statement from Raven's remaining QA staff. "Additionally, these actions go directly against the positive culture that Raven has created over the years. The end goal of this walkout is to ensure the continued growth of Raven as a studio and to foster a positive community for everyone who works there."
Employees have a singular demand of Activision Blizzard: "every member of the QA team, including those terminated on Friday, must be offered full-time positions."
Raven Software is one of the many studios at Activision Blizzard that works on the billion-dollar Call of Duty franchise. Perhaps best known for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops, Raven was also involved in Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: WW2, and the free-to-play battle royale game Call of Duty: Warzone which staff noted makes an average of $5.2 million per day.
The 12 fired employees were "considered by their colleagues to be essential to the everyday functioning of the Raven QA team." Now those same employees are facing a cold Wisconsin winter without any support.
This is the third employee walkout experienced by Activision Blizzard over the past five months. The first came soon after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against Activision Blizzard for what it called a "frat boy workplace culture." The second came after a Wall Street Journal report accused Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick of ignoring reports of sexual harassment and discrimination — and even contributing to its toxic culture.
Companies from across the industry are reevaluating their relationship with Activision Blizzard. So far the Activision Blizzard board has backed Kotick, but political pressure for significant change is mounting.
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