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Online shooter raking in $5mn/day sees mass developer walkout

Amid rising revenues for the free-to-play battle royale shooter ‘Call of Duty: Warzone’, the company behind it has suddenly laid off 30% of its quality assurance (QA) department. This prompted studio employees to stage a walkout.
It’s been nearly two years since the release of ‘Warzone’, which has proven to be one of the most popular online shooters in recent years. The revenue for the game has been steadily growing, with a reported $5.2 million in earnings per day. Additionally, an upcoming integration with the latest CoD installment, ‘Vanguard’, as well as a new and highly anticipated map, is expected to see demand for the game soar in the coming months.

However, the management over at Raven Software, the company overseeing the game’s development, apparently decided this would be the best time to lay off a third of its QA staff, who had played a crucial role in the game’s development.

“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,” said the group staging the walkout in a letter it sent to gaming news platform Kotaku.

More than 60 workers, among them QA staff and developers, have walked out on the job to protest the firing of the 12 testers. The group is demanding the company offer the terminated workers full-time contracts, stating that the personnel cuts “come after five weeks of overtime, and before an anticipated end-of-year crunch.”

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The termination of high-performing testers, while workload and profits are soaring, is an unacceptable action by the company and contradicts Raven's goal of being an exemplary workplace in our industry.</p>&mdash; ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) <a href="https://twitter.com/ABetterABK/status/1467880082438082565?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2021</a></blockquote> 

The protesting employees also noted that the QA staff who had been let go had reportedly been in “good standing” with the company and had not underperformed in any way. In fact, they had reportedly been promised raises for months and told of upcoming “positive departmental changes,” which had been used as a reason to hold back similar incentives in March. Some of the laid-off workers had even relocated to Wisconsin, where the studio is located, in anticipation of these “positive changes.”

        <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I am gutted right now. My friends in QA at Raven were promised, for months, that Activision was working towards a pay restructure to increase their wages.<br><br>Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.</p>&mdash; Austin O'Brien (@eyyohbee) <a href="https://twitter.com/eyyohbee/status/1466890788235878409?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 3, 2021</a></blockquote> 

Meanwhile, in a letter to Kotaku, Activision Blizzard, the company that owns both the franchise and the studios, responded by saying: “Activision Publishing is growing its overall investment in its development and operations resources. We are converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months. Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended.”

Activision Blizzard has been under increased pressure throughout the past year, with numerous sexual misconduct scandals rocking senior officials at the company. In response, thousands of Activision employees have been staging protests and have launched a petition to remove CEO Bobby Kotick. The petition has already gained more than 32,000 signatures.
https://ift.tt/2hpq7SJ 07, 2021 at 05:25PM
from RT – Daily news

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