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News video games 06 December 2021, 21:47

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Call of Duty: Warzone Devs Protest Against Sudden Layoffs

Activision Blizzard's decision to fire many Raven Software testers didn't sit well with other studio employees.

  1. Some Raven Software employees went on strike against sudden layoffs in the QA department;
  2. Activision Blizzard has confirmed a "restructuring" of the team, which will see 500 temporary staff become full-time, but 20 are set to lose their jobs.

This past weekend we got a glimpse of the frustration of Raven Software's staff, where Activision began firing experienced testers. Now, some of the creators of Call of Duty: Warzone have taken to the streets to demonstrate the publisher their "enthusiasm" following the sudden decision. For now for one day, but participants do not rule out extending the strike.

The developers' protest was reported by Kotaku and Bloomberg's Jason Schreier. The latter also shared a statement issued by the organizers. In the shared email they pointed out that experienced testers in the QA department are crucial for the further success of the studio:

“Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind. Raven's [Software - author's note] QA department is essential to the daily operation of the company as a whole. Terminating high-performance testers at a time of constant work and profit puts the studio's health at risk."

Schreier's information confirms that Raven Software was not given advance notice of Activision Blizzard's decision or a "clear rationale" for it. Only the company's "restructuring" was mentioned, which will see more than 500 temporary employees hired full-time.

In a statement to Kotaku, the publisher confirmed the news and added that "as part of this change, the contracts of 20 temporary employees from various studios have not been renewed." It is unclear whether this includes those employed at Raven Software, who are still awaiting a meeting to clarify whether they will remain on the job.

Alex Dupont - one of Raven Software's testers - believes the company is firing his colleagues "for arbitrary reasons" despite the success of Warzone. Free installment of CoD is said to generate $5.2 million in revenue per day. and in this context, getting rid of members of the quality control team may indeed seem absurd.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the decision, it is unlikely to improve Activision Blizzard's image, which has been tarnished by months of controversy. Information about the layoffs at Raven Software was with cold reception by developers from other studios. These and the publisher's previous problems meant that it will not appear on this year's The Game Awards gala.

Gamers aren't thrilled either, but now their attention has been diverted by a trailer for the new pacific map for CoD: Warzone.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Passionate about video (and other) games for years, he completed an Mba in linguistics, defending a thesis about games. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in 2015, writing in the newsroom, later also covering film and – oh, horror! – technology (also contributor to the gaming encyclopedia). He started with platformers, which he still dearly loves (including metroidvania), but he's also interested in card games (including 'analog'), brawlers, soulslike games and basically every other type of game. Don't ask about the graphics – after a few hours of exposition, he can be delighted with pixelated characters from games that remember the days of the Game Boy age (if not older).


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