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Activision Blizzard moves its US QA workers to full-time positions

Nearly 1,100 workers are moving to full-time roles

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Activision Blizzard is moving its U.S.-based QA workers into full-time roles. The company has announced that QA employees will become full-time, with full benefits, starting July 1.

QA employees at Activision Blizzard had previously pushed for this move, including those at Raven Software. The QA team at Raven held a strike, which ended with the team voting in favor of unionization.

Nearly 1,100 workers will be affected, which will push a pretty large number of workers into full-time roles at the company. Activision Blizzard is also raising its minimum hourly pay for these positions up to $20/hour, as of April 17. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Polygon that both Activision and Blizzard will continue to use external partner support for QA workers when workload exceeds the team’s bandwidth.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson tells Bloomberg that Raven workers, however, won’t receive new pay initiatives due to legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act. “Whether Raven workers choose to unionize has nothing to do with the salary increases elsewhere for Activision’s QA workers,” the spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Moving QA workers into full-time roles was one of the Raven QA team’s original demands. That statement also includes a call to offer the same to several individuals who were laid off from the company last December. In a statement to GI Biz, an Activision Blizzard representative said the conversion of workers to full-time “does not have any relation to the petition pending at Raven studio.”

“The Raven situation is limited to Raven,” the spokesperson told GI Biz. “The testers whose contracts weren’t extended were welcome then, and now, to apply for any jobs at the company.”

A push for QA recognition

It’s a step forward for QA workers at the company, though Activision Blizzard workers are still protesting other issues too. Most recently, workers at Activision Blizzard spoke out against the removal of a vaccine mandate as studios returned to the office.

The publisher later changed its decision, allowing its studios to create their own policies. Several did, and have established vaccination and testing policies.

The ABK Workers Alliance issued a response today, saying it is overjoyed. “A year ago, we made a promise to make A Better ABK,” the alliance said today. “Little by little, we are accomplishing that goal. This is the power of collective action. When you work with your co-workers for the betterment of your workplace, the impossible becomes possible.”

This story has been updated to reflect ongoing developments.

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.