On Dec. 3, 2021, quality assurance testers for Raven Software were told they were being let go from the company. According to a report by The Washington Post, a majority of people who were called into the meetings were fired. Even after the firing, most of the employees were told that they did nothing wrong. Activision Blizzard workers from various studios have chosen to walk out of work on Tuesday in response to these firings following the walkout from Raven’s QA department on Monday.
“I am gutted right now. My friends in QA at Raven were promised, for months, that Activision was working towards a pay restructure to increase their wages,” Raven Software associate community manager Austin O’Brien said. “Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.”
I am gutted right now. My friends in QA at Raven were promised, for months, that Activision was working towards a pay restructure to increase their wages.
Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.
— Austin O'Brien (@eyyohbee) December 3, 2021
Raven Software firings cause another walkout
200 workers from various studios and teams have joined Raven Software in protesting the recent firings. This is the third work stoppage that Activision Blizzard has faced in the last five months due to systemic sexual discrimination and workplace misconduct claims. Workers from Texas, Minnesota and Irvine, California have come together for the walkout. The goal is to reverse the firings and guarantee full-time positions to the workers that were let go.
The walkout began Tuesday morning with workers stepping away from their desks. Most have notified management about their choice to stand in solidarity with those that were fired. Other have shown solidarity with the hashtag #WeAreRaven on social media.
Blizzard responded to the situation in a statement to the Washington Post: “We support their right to express their opinions and concerns in a safe and respectful manner, without fear of retaliation.”
The reason for the firings, according to the report, was due to studio restructuring. A third of the studio’s quality assurance testers have been fired so far. In a joint news release, Raven Software quality assurance contractors wrote that many of the workers who have been fired relocated to Wisconsin in anticipation of the return to in-person work. The workers did so with no relocation assistance from Raven Software and made the decision off of a guarantee that their workload would be consistent.
According to a report from Uppercut, QA testers from Activision TX who had been working on Vanguard were moved over to Warzone’s Pacific map two weeks before the layoffs at Raven. Raven is the studio that was primarily in charge of QA for Warzone.
ABetterABK responds to Raven Software firings
ABetterABK, the employee group at the forefront of protests against Activision Blizzard, released a statement in support of the fired workers in a tweet on Dec. 3.
“We watched in shock today as our peers at Raven lost their employment in real time. With all of our efforts to improve the lives of our contractors, this is a great wound for all of us – and an incredible break of the trust the company has asked us for. Know we stand with you. This has not only destroyed the morale of our workforce but obliterated trust in the company that has been routinely asking us for patience in improving our work lives.”
We watched in shock today as our peers at Raven lost their employment in real time. With all of our efforts to improve the lives of our contractors, this is a great wound for all of us–and an incredible break of the trust the company has asked us for. Know we stand with you.🧵
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) December 4, 2021
Despite Activision Blizzard making over $2 billion in revenue within three months according to a November earnings call, workers are still not guaranteed a future at the company.