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Activision contracts for a full-time to more than a thousand employees of QA

QA workers at Activision have been the protagonists of various important news in the videogame industry during the last months. From unforeseen dismissals, going through strikes, until the formation of a union. After several complicated moments, it was recently announced that the company of Bobby Kotick has granted full-time contracts to more than a thousand employees of this division, which can be seen as a victory, but not everything is as good as it seems.

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Through a statement, Activision Blizzard revealed that 1,100 employees who were responsible for the QA area in this company have passed to have full-time contracts, since previously were only contracted by project, and their minimum wage has been increased to $ 20 dollars the time . This was what Josh Taub said, CEO of Activision Publishing, about it:

“I am pleased to announce that we are converting all temporary and contingent quality control workers based in the USA. UU in full-time employees (FTE). We are increasing your hourly rate at a minimum of $ 20 per hour and providing access to all the benefits of the company, and will be eligible to participate in the company’s bonus program “.

This movement has benefited 90% of employees who previously did not have a full-time contract. So far, everything sounds very good, and means that Activision Blizzard has heard the complaints that have externated their workers for years. However, the interesting thing is that these improvements are not available for those who are part of the Raven Software union.

In a statement for Bloomberg, a representative of Activision Blizzard noted that salary changes will not be applied to QA workers of the company who are currently trying to syndicalize “due to legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Law”.

In this sense, this was what Sara Steffens, Secretary-Treasurer of Workers of the Communication from America, or CWA, said for its acronym in English:

“Do not make mistake, all credit for the last movement of Activision Blizzard to give all temporary and contingent members of the quality control team a full-time job and an increase should go to workers who have been organizing, Mobilizing and raising his voice. It is especially irritating that Activision has excluded Raven’s quality control workers from Raven Software, who have been at the head of this effort, of these benefits. The affirmation of the company that the National Labor Relations Law prevents them from including Raven workers is clearly an effort to divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union. “

While the hiring of more than a thousand employees is something positive, is also a practice that is focused on destabilizing the Raven Software union . For its part, the last thing that we learned about this organization is that the whole study should be part of the union, or this organization would be impossible to realize.

On related topics, US Senators oppose the purchase of Blizzard Activision by Microsoft. Similarly, PLAYSTATION users would subscribe to Xbox Game Pass if the Activision Games arrive at this platform.

Editor’s note:

It is difficult to take a posture on this occasion. Although, on the one hand, it is magnificent that the employees finally have a complete contract, which increases them from salary and provides several improvements in their work life, excluding union workers is a strong coup focused on convincing the People leaving their sidewall. The only thing that is clear is the malevolent mind that directs Activision Blizzard.

After the fiasco of NFT Worms, TEAM17 employees denounce their working conditions

On January 31, TEAM17 was taking your feet in the carpet announcing NFT to the effigy of the Worms, its historical mascots. Following the disputes of the players, but also and especially five of his partners, the group immediately made back machine, canceling purely and simply the project. The story could have stopped there, but this incident has decided several current and former employees to talk about working conditions within the studio.

A survey published by the Eurogamer site has brought together more than a dozen testimonies regarding working conditions in the two studio antennas and TEAM17 British publisher. Above all, the increasing workload in recent years for low-income wages, but also the internal communication worries about this NFT Worms case. This project would have been decided at the end of 2021 by “the company’s summit” and the information would have been kept secret for several teams until the public announcement. More problematic, employees who were aware of their fears and disapproval towards this NFT program, to be perfectly ignored. Dysfunctions that go wrong after the return of stick that followed his ad.

By snowball effect, a dozen old and current employees, all under cover of anonymity, have entrusted to curling their concerns vis-à-vis the game schedule of the games published by Team17. With seven titles published in 2020, and then eight in 2021, the workload has intensified since the Group’s public marketing in 2018: “the short direction after the quantity rather than the quality”. With ever more deadlines to respect, it is again on the shoulders of the quality service teams (QA) that the load has increased. All for basic salaries at £ 16,000 in the year for junior profiles, only at £ 19,000 for seniors.

Testers say they desperately sought to alert the bosses on development problems, but they have been ignored.


Other points of friction would also have “affected the morale_” employees. In addition to the heavy labor days – Eurogamer does not specify which time volume is concerned here – a “Point of Concorde” was created around the issue of bonuses granted at the end of the year. The teams would have executed overtime in the hope of receiving their premium, before discovering last December that it was severely linked, for some more than £ 1000. Cuts that the direction justifies by a “sous-performance” titles First-Party out during the fiscal year, even as, on January 6, it announced to its shareholders that the results for the second half of the year 2021 surpassed their expectations. A situation that would greatly benefit from Debbie Bestwick, co-founder of the studio and current CEO, whose annual salary would have climbed more than 7.5 million pounds, or $ 10.2 million.

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Among the other dissension elements, the employees surveyed entrust to Eurogamer “_ne not trust” to the current team of the Human Resources of the studio. They believe that HR have “_pas acted when they were alerted” on problems of sexual harassment while several women employed have reported receiving degrading messages and suggestive photos from male colleagues. “_The culprits have been tapped on the fingers, and the victims had to fend for themselves.

Asked by Eurogamer, TEAM17 responded to take “responsibilities to its very serious staff” and claims to have launched any new approaches to improve the dialogue with its employees, particularly with regard to wages. “Our objective is to make sure that they feel connected, valued and that they have a sense of belonging and utility, and that they continue to be proud of Team17 and the products we develop and publish_”. One point on which the witnesses fall agrees, confident being “_formed loyal to their colleagues and proud of the work they accomplish.”

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