Activision Blizzard has seen its workers walk out twice this year already. The first after the California DFEH’s initial sexual harassment lawsuit surfaced, and after that following the revelation that CEO Bobby Kotick was well aware of the studio’s longstanding toxic workplace culture. Now it’s going for a hattrick following mass layoffs.
Raven Software, one of Activision Blizzard’s tributary studios behind the endlessly popular Call of Duty: Warzone, fired 12 quality assurance contractors working on the title. Activision Blizzard informed them that they would be having one-on-one meetings to determine whether or not they may stay on as full-time workers. A small handful have already been told that their contracts would end in January, but the rest remain in limbo.
The Washington Post reports that, following the announced layoffs, 60 other workers walked out of work in protest on Monday, and more than 200 followed the next day. Advocate group A Better ABK took to Twitter to add its voice to the mix, saying:
“The Raven QA department is essential to the day-to-day functioning of the studio as a whole. Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk.”
Activision Blizzard told The Washington Post that it plans on converting nearly 500 temporary workers to full-time employees, and cites this employment shuffle as the reason for the Raven layoffs. Additionally, another 20 temporary workers studio-wide have apparently been told that their contracts won’t be renewed either.
“It feels like Activision’s toxic culture is starting to bleed into Raven,” said a Raven QA tester to TWP. “The people who were let go seem to have been chosen completely at random, and the rest of us have survivor’s guilt because we know our teammates deserve to still be here. We’re all just incredibly heartbroken.”