It’s been just over a month since Activision Blizzard’s employees went on strike after the unexpected termination of 12 contractors working on the Raven Software QA team. During that time, employees have met repeatedly to share their demands from the company in an effort to “promote a transparent and trusting relationship” and enter into peaceful negotiations. However, despite their best efforts, a current Raven Soft employee has now said that no steps have been taken toward reconciliation.
In a recent report from Inverse, the outlet spoke to both former and current Activision Blizzard employees about the company’s working conditions and the ongoing strike. Jessica Gonzalez, the founder and organizer of ABbetterABK (A Better Activision, Blizzard and King), says that despite requests to the QA team to meet with the leadership to discuss the ongoing crisis, the leadership “has not opened a dialogue” with the workers. Her claim was subsequently supported by two current Raven Software employees, both of whom chose to remain anonymous.
“QA has not been involved in any of these discussions,” the first contributor told Inverse. “Our request for a meeting with the leadership has been met with radio silence.”
The second employee then continued on the comment, stating:
“We expected the silence from Activision, but were still disappointed to see. The company continues to publicly state how it plans to develop a clear line of communication between management and employees, while actively opposing its demands for closed-door transparency. ABK has no intention of changing its toxic practices and improving its corporate culture in the short term.”
The article also touched on the common mistreatment many QA testers in the industry experience, from grueling hours and crunch to not getting benefits, stability, or proper recognition for their work. According to another anonymous source, “Many testers stay with the company for years, but are forced to take unpaid breaks between contracts so they can legally remain ‘temporary workers’. Term contracts do not include benefits or bonuses given to regular full-time employees. QA staff will work full-time and frequent overtime hours, doing essential work to the development process without ever receiving the benefits given to other departments.”
Unfortunately, this report is just the latest development in a long timeline of corporate misdeeds by the company behind Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and countless other titles. Activision Blizzard has been under investigation since July 2021 over numerous reports of sexism, discrimination and unethical working conditions against the company. Although some executives have resigned, CEO Bobby Kotick remains in power at the company despite claims that he actively covered up workplace harassment and threatened a female colleague.