Activision Blizzard: At Least A Dozen Testers Sent Away By Raven Software

Part of Activision Blizzard, the studio promised the quality assurance (QA) testers the opposite of firing.


The Washington Post reported that at least a dozen contracted (i.e. not “in-house”) game testers had been abruptly laid off, with more layoffs to follow next week. The interesting thing is that Activision Blizzard told them the opposite: they would be transferred to a partner, Volt, which would have meant more benefits, and with a $1.50 hourly wage increase, they would have earned $18.5 per hour. One tester told The Washington Post that their project manager was unaware of these cuts…

Raven’s assistant community manager Austin O’Brien expressed his disappointment on Twitter: “I am gutted right now. My friends in QA at Raven were promised, for months,  that Activision [Blizzard] was working towards a pay restructure to increase their wages. Today, one by one, valuable team members were called into meetings and told they were being let go. To work here, these people were asked to relocate to Madison, WI [Wisconsin]. Now they are out of a job on January 28th. Our QA team does incredible work, but this will not only increase their workload but crush morale.”

It is not precisely a humane attitude that without any warning and contrary to promises, the publisher, unfortunately (also…) known for this, has fired people. This year, for example, Activision Blizzard has made hundreds of redundancies (mainly in the eSport area), and in 2019, while the publisher, still headed by Bobby Kotick, has broken records financially (and the heat is on, and we’ve written about it before). Also, in 2019, Electronic Arts put 350 people out of work, so the games industry is rife with an overly profit-driven mentality that is inhumanly unfair to the pockets of executives.

And you can see it on Twitter. O’Brien’s tweet has been retweeted over 4,000 times, which is fair enough. Activision Blizzard has been on a bit of a PR roll lately. There seems to be no willingness from management to at least move Kotick.

Source: PCGamer

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