Activision Blizzard will promote all temporary QA workers in the US to full-time rolls with the benefits to match, the company has announced. The move affects nearly 1,100 employees who will get a pay bump to a minimum of $20 per hour on July 1.
For those looking to form a union at Raven, the offer will not apply to them as it is due to the company’s legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.
This shift in promotions will add a 25 percent increase to Activision Blizzard’s headcount following another headcount increase that saw 500 temp roles move to full-time.
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According to a spokesperson, “This change follows a process that began last year,” and has begun to be made public.
However, a statement from the Communication Workers of America to Kotaku has called the move “galling.”
“Make no mistake, all credit for Activision Blizzard’s latest move to give all temporary and contingent QA team members full-time employment and a raise should go to the workers who have been organizing, mobilizing, and speaking out,” CWA secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens said. “It’s especially galling then that Activision has excluded Raven Software QA workers, who have been at the forefront of this effort, from these benefits. The company’s assertion that the National Labor Relations Act prevents them from including Raven workers is clearly an effort to divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union.”
In an email from josh Taub, the COO of Activision Blizzard, Taub says that “In light of these changes, and as we look to our ambitious plans for the future, we are further refining how our development teams work together. QA is, and continues to be, critical to our development success.”
As Call of Duty has shifted from an annual release to an “always-on” service model, the need to grow and hire more QA workers is necessary. Activision Blizzard will continue to hire external employees when the internal teams have met their bandwidth.
In recent months, Call of Duty and Warzone have been criticized for terrible updates that are mired in performance and quality issues.