Members of the quality assurance team at Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software staged a walkout on Monday to protest the layoffs of coworkers announced late last week. The walkout continues today, and has expanded to include other studios, who are "standing in solidarity" with the Raven QA team.
"Today workers from Raven QA are walking out for the second day in a row," the ABK Workers Alliance tweeted. "They are joined by workers from QATX, QAMN, and Blizzard QA. These workers are standing in solidarity with the statement Raven QA put forward yesterday."
Today workers from Raven QA are walking out for the second day in a row. They are joined by workers from QATX, QAMN, and Blizzard QA. These workers are standing in solidarity with the statement Raven QA put forward yesterday. They are using the social media hashtag #WeAreRavenDecember 7, 2021
QATX and QAMN are Activision Blizzard studios located in Texas and Minnesota. According to the company's studio page, the Minnesota studio is "home to Activision's largest QA team." Employees taking part in the walkout are sharing their participation and support using the #WeAreRaven hashtag.
"It feels like Activision’s toxic culture is starting to bleed into Raven," a Raven QA tester told the Washington Post (opens in new tab). "The people who were let go seem to have been chosen completely at random, and the rest of us have survivor’s guilt because we know our teammates deserve to still be here. We’re all just incredibly heartbroken."
This will be the third walkout of Activision Blizzard employees in recent months. The first took place in July following a lawsuit filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleged widespread sexual harassment, discrimination, and a "frat boy" culture at the company; the second occurred in November to demand CEO Bobby Kotick's removal, after a follow-up report alleged that Kotick had been aware of the issues but did not act to address them.
Today, all of ABK QA joins Raven in solidarity. We are walking out because our jobs are invaluable and it’s unacceptable for a multi million dollar company to toy with workers livelihoods to get better numbers in Q4. Today #WeAreRaven 💙December 7, 2021
In response to the demand from protesters that the laid-off Raven employees be reinstated and all members of the QA team be made full-time employees, Activision Blizzard said in a statement that it is "converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months." However, as a part of that process, 20 contracted employees at Activision studios will not have their contracts renewed.
Later in the day, A Better ABK said that all of the central QA workers at Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War developer Treyarch had walked out in support of Raven employees.
In an unprecedented show of love and solidarity, all of Treyarch's central QA has walked out. Thank you, for your devotion to your peers and bettering this industry. #WeareRaven #ABetterABKDecember 7, 2021
I've reached out to Activision Blizzard for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.