Activision studio drops at least 12 Call of Duty QA testers


At least 12 quality assurance contractors from Raven Software, one of Call of Duty’s major development studios, were laid off today. More QA contractors could lose their jobs next week.

According to The Washington Post, Activision previously told testers to expect a move to a new recruiting partner, Volt, which would come with additional perks, bonuses and a raise of $ 1.50 per hour, increasing their salary at $ 18.50 per hour. Instead, they were made redundant today. A quality assurance tester told the newspaper his project manager was unaware of the impending layoffs.

“I’m drained right now. My QA friends at Raven have been promising, for months, that Activision is working on a pay restructuring to raise their wages,” tweeted Raven’s Associate Community Manager Austin O’Brien. “Today, one by one, valuable team members were called into meetings and said they were being fired.”

Raven Software is one of Call of Duty’s primary developers and the studio most associated with its most recent hit, Call of Duty: Warzone.

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Layoffs have not been a rare experience for Activision Blizzard departments and studios in recent years. Earlier this year a number of esports employees were laid off and in 2019 the company cut hundreds of jobs after announcing record earnings.

Layoffs are also not uncommon among other major publishers. EA laid off 350 people in 2019, for example. While the number of employees affected in this case is much smaller than that (at least at the moment), the layoffs at Raven are particularly notable – and generate a large public backlash – as the relationship between Activision management Blizzard and the employees is as hostile as it has ever been. Many employees have called for CEO Bobby Kotick to resign following a recent report that alleged he was behind Activision Blizzard’s denials following the filing of the sexual harassment complaint in California in July.

O’Brien’s reaction to the layoffs was shared over a thousand times on Twitter just hours after it was posted. Many commentators point out the enormous amount of revenue generated by Warzone.

Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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