After Raven Software fired over a third of its QA department, other developers at the company agreed to stage a walkout. Now employees of the studio’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, have said they will also walkout in solidarity.
On Monday (December 6) 60 members of Raven Software staged a walkout after twenty quality assurance testers were laid off by the Activision Blizzard, with twelve from the studio alone. Now The Washington Post reports that other Activision Blizzard employees across a number of different studios are also walking out to show their distaste for the company’s tactics.
This is the third stoppage at the company since late July. Before this, following the success of Call Of Duty: Warzone, Raven Software grew by over 50 percent, as it hired 100 new staff with promises for 40 more positions.
However, later the same month, following the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against Activision Blizzard, Raven Software said it would “restructure” the QA department. It then went on to fire a third of its testers while hiring others as full-time employees. This gave them a bonus of $1.50 (£1.10) an hour.
In response to the walkouts Activision commented: “We support their right to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation.”
Of the layoffs it said “[Activision is] growing its overall investment in its development and operations resources.” Ending the contracts with these 20 workers was part of that plan, but it also claimed about 500 contractors would become full-time employees in the coming months.
On Monday, head of Raven Software, Brian Raffel told employees that he did not view the meetings as “layoffs” but that rather contracts with workers which had come to an end and had been chosen not to be renewed. However, many of those fired had recently relocated to Wisconsin with the assistance of Raven Software, and the promise that there would be more work to come.
In other news, the hacker Gary Bowser has settled out of court with Nintendo to pay $10 million (£7.5 million) for selling devices which allowed buyers to play pirated Nintendo titles.