The Call of Duty: Warzone devs are walking out over the sudden layoffs at the company
Developers at Raven Software are staging a walkout today in protest over the recent layoffs at the studio. Following last Friday’s surprise layoffs for QA testers at Raven, employees are demanding every member of the QA department—including those laid off—be offered full-time positions.
News of the layoffs at Raven Software hit just before the weekend. One employee at Raven said that members of the team has been promised a pay restructure for months from Activision, but were called into meetings one-by-one to be told they were being let go.
Today Raven QA, as a department, is demonstrating in protest of the layoffs on Friday. Raven QA's team is essential to the studio's day-to-day operations.
— ABetterABK ? ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) December 6, 2021
In response to the events of Friday, the Raven QA team and other members of Raven’s staff will be walking out with a singular demand: Every member of the QA team, including those terminated on Friday, must be offered full time positions. Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind.
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. Additionally, these actions go directly against the positive culture that Raven has created over the years. The end goal of this walk out is to ensure the continued growth of Raven as a studio and to foster a positive community for everyone who works there.
The QA team at Raven largely works on Call of Duty: Warzone, a major piece of the Activision gaming lineup. In a statement, Activision Blizzard said:
“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.”
This adds another on the pile for Activision Blizzard’s year so far. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against the publisher, alleging discrimination, harassment, and a toxic culture at the company. Even more allegations came out against Kotick in a report from the Wall Street Journal, alleging he knew of issues at the company for years.
Collective action has risen at Activision Blizzard in kind though, with employees staging their own walkouts and signing letters, as well as forming the aforementioned ABK Workers Alliance. Heads of PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox have also voiced their own concerns about the publisher.