Activision-Blizzard QA walkout spreads to other studios in its second day

Call of Duty: Warzone
(Image credit: Activision)

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."

See more

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. "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.

See more

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.

See more

I've reached out to Activision Blizzard for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.