Activision has laid off a third of the QA team from Raven Software.
Washington Post reports that the studio - which co-created Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War with Treyarch - is calling in its quality assurance contractors for meetings between 3rd and 8th December. It's here staff will be told if they've been promoted or if they've been made redundant.
Right now, it seems about a third of the team has been laid off, although the meetings are continuing until 8th December. Promoted staff are reportedly moving to full-time roles and an increased hourly rate of $18.50 (£14); redundant staff will be terminated on 28th January 2022.
"I feel hurt and betrayed," one Raven Software contractor told The Post. "The majority of individuals who have had their meetings were fired. ...Everyone was told: 'You did nothing wrong' after being given the bad news."
"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," tweeted Raven Software's associate community manager, Austin O'Brien. "Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.
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.— Austin O’Brien - Woodmancy (@eyyohbee) December 3, 2021
Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.
"These people were asked to relocate to Madison, WI to work here. Now they are out of a job on January 28th. Our QA team does incredible work but this will not only increase their workload but crush morale.
"If it isn't clear, this is bullshit," O'Brien added. "It's unfair to these people to string them along, promising something better, and then let them go. I am infuriated right now."
The layoffs come just days after Activision reported $2 billion in revenue during its last fiscal quarter.
As Tom summarised for us a few days ago, last month Activision was the focus of a damning Wall St Journal report which detailed alleged sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate behaviour at the developer behind Call of Duty. It followed a stream of reports of a similarly toxic culture at sister studio Blizzard.
Particular criticism was levelled towards Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, including claims of how much he knew, and suggestion he could have done more.
The report's publication sent shockwaves through Activision Blizzard and around the games industry. Employees walked out and more than 1800 signed a petition demanding Kotick step down. PlayStation, Microsoft and Nintendo spoke out. But - for now - Kotick remains.
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