Activision Blizzard Converting All Game Testing Devs Into Full-Time Employees

| April 8, 2022
Activision Blizzard All Game Testing Devs Into Full-Time Employees

Activision Blizzard is converting all of their US-based game testers on temporary contracts to full-time employees, with an improved $20 an hour salary and access to full company benefits.

This movie means almost 1100 staff are going to benefit from this change. It, however, will not apply to staff at the Call of Duty studio Raven, who are currently seeking unionization. Activision has said they are, “prohibited from making new kinds of compensation changes at Raven at this time” because of “legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.”

The move follows Activision Blizzard laying off a third of the Quality Assurance Staff (QA) at Raven, just before Christmas. There have been months of employee action surrounding the rights of contract-based QA workers, who are employed to test Activision’s Call of Duty content.

“During the last two years, Call of Duty has expanded and evolved,” Activision Blizzard exec Josh Taub said in an email to employees. “Our development cycles have gone from an annual release to an ‘always on’ model. In response to greater engagement, we’ve increased our live services business across all platforms. Our offerings now encompass season passes, operators, and the awesome content available in our stores. We’ve also grown our workforce and support across our studios, along with exciting new plans on mobile.”

Activision Blizzard’s Call Of Duty Warzone Devs Protest Over Raven Software Job Cuts

To paraphrase the rest of the email, Taub thanked his QA staff and reassured them that they are still a vital part of the development process. But in a statement to The Verge, Communications Workers of America secretary-treasurer, Sara Steffens, said the changes were a result of staff speaking out.

“It’s especially gailing then that Activision has excluded Raven Software QA workers who have been at the forefront of this effort, from these benefits. The company’s assertion that the National Labor Relations Act prevents them from including Raven workers is clearly an effort to divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union,” she said.

The workers alliance, ABetterABK, also put out a statement on Twitter.

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