Raven Software is one of multiple studios that produces Call of Duty installments such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone, taking turns with Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. The studio has been meeting with contractors from December 3 and will continue to do so until December 8 to determine whether they are being promoted or terminated on January 28.
All told, a third of QA testers have been laid off and more may follow in the next few days. Those who were promoted into full-time positions will receive an increase of a $1.50 per hour raise, cumulating to an hourly rate of $18.50 as well as additional benefits and bonuses.
Some folks who were affected by the layoffs spoke with Washington Post on the condition of anonymity saying, “The majority of individuals who have had their meetings were fired. … Everyone was told, ‘You did nothing wrong,’ after being given the bad news.”
Following the layoffs, it’s been reported that Treyarch will be converting “all positions” held by current temporary staff and workers from the staffing agency Volt Workforce Solutions to full-time roles.
In the wake of these developments, Call of Duty workers are staging a walk-out in protest of the layoffs that happened on Friday as reported by A Better ABK, an advocacy group made up of Activision Blizzard Employees.
Personally, I cannot fathom breaking up the team that has been working to ensure your products live up to standards of quality. Getting rid of QA just because you don’t need them right now is akin to firing y our doctor because you feel healthy now, when you’re about to head off into a warzone.
The layoffs at Raven are an awful look when you consider everything that has been swirling around Activision Blizzard such as the allegations of a toxic work culture, and the accusations currently being leveled at CEO Bobby Kotick.