Activision: Raven Software employees go on strike after wave of layoffs

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Activision has started a wave of massive layoffs at Raven Software, the studio in charge of Call of Duty: Warzone and of supporting installments like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Just as he anticipated The Washington Post last December 3, at least one third of the quality control staff of the studio based in Madison, Wisconsin, United States, will cease to be part of the company in January 2022. In response to these dismissals, a group of about 40 workers has called a strike with which they demand both improvements in their working conditions (permanent contracts) as stop this succession of dismissals, which they qualify as inappropriate.

Raven Software workers protest: promised improvements

The disagreement between workers and former employees of Raven Software is accentuated when Activision Blizzard had promised that “approximately 500 temporary workers” would move to the permanent staff in the coming months. However, the corporation alleges that as a result of this new structuring they will have to lay off some 20 temporary workers.

After knowing the information, which was transmitted to the employees last Friday, December 3, this Monday the journalist Stephen Totilo has accessed the collective statement used by members of Raven Software to call the strike. The movement has as its purpose ensure the growth of Raven as a studio and foster a positive workspace for all those who are part of the team. Meanwhile, the employees who have called the movement will not appear at their work station from this Monday.

The staff is left without salary improvements or promotions; they claim indefinite contracts

The cut in personnel is estimated, in the first wave of layoffs, in 12 testers from the QA department, whose contracts will be terminated on January 28, 2022. Apparently, the dismissals are inadmissible because they do not respond to poor performance or bad practices, but a personal cut that coincides with a period of “five weeks of overtime and just before a end of the year with crunch”. The result is none other than a 30% reduction in QA department for Call of Duty: Warzone, one of the free-to-play Today’s most successful and one of Activision’s most lucrative video games.

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The firm led by Bobby Kotick has communicated to employees that, Due to this restructuring, no member of the team will have promotions in their positions or increases in their salaries in the current fiscal year.. The template does not explain the decision when we talk about a video game that has a turnover of 5.2 million dollars every day.

The strike call repeats the need to incorporate into the permanent contract staff those temporary workers who will end their contract next January 2022.

All this situation coincides with the scandal that surrounds Activision Blizzard since last July, when the state of California denounced the company for possible labor and sexual abuse. This November, after months of accusations and evidence, a thousand and a half employees are on strike – adding all the divisions of Activision, Blizzard and King -, while Bobby Kotick, CEO, is accused of mistreatment and concealment of tests.

Sources | Jason Schreier; The Washington Post; Stephen Totilo; Bloomberg


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