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Activision Blizzard gives nearly 1,100 QA workers full-time jobs with higher wages

Activision did not include Raven Software QA workers who unionized and formed Game Workers Alliance for the benefits. Read the full story here.

Activision Blizzard announced that they will finally be turning QA testers of Activision Publishing and Blizzard into full-time employees at the company. Almost 1,100 Quality Assurance (QA) game testers would now have permanent full-time jobs with perks and employee benefits. The company also announced higher wages for these employees with a new $20 minimum hourly rate.

Jessica Taylor, vice president of corporate communications at Activision Blizzard, released a statement that confirmed the decision. She announced that all US-based QA team members at Activision Publishing (AP) and Blizzard would be converted into full-time employees from July 1, 2022. The teams would also receive higher wages of $20/hr which will take effect from April 17. Around 1,100 QA game testers will receive full company benefits and would be eligible to take part in the company bonus plans at Activision.

The decision came after months of protests and walk-outs from QA testers at another Activision studio, Raven Software. Raven Software testers, working on the Call of Duty series, were told in December that they will be laid off from work. The announcement sparked protests and led to the unionization called ‘Game Workers Alliance’ formed alongside the Communications Workers of America.

 

Despite that, Activision will not be increasing the wages for those Quality Assurance testers at Raven, as per Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. Activision Blizzard confirmed the same to The Verge and stated that any compensation changes cannot be made at Raven currently. Brian Raffel, vice president of Raven Software, cited legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act as the reason. 

The Communications Workers of America secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens told The Verge that the move was an effort by Activision to “divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union (Game Workers Alliance - CWA).” She also said that the move by Activision to exclude Raven Software QA workers  “who have been organizing, mobilizing and speaking out, who have been at the forefront of this effort” from the benefits is a clear indicator of the need for QA workers to have a “protected voice on the job.” She ended her statement by urging Activision Blizzard to rectify this situation and respect Raven QA workers’ protected rights to organize.