Hold On! Gimme A Sec

At least 12 Call of Duty QA testers are laid off by Activision

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Raven Software, one of the main Call of Duty development studios, laid off at least 12 quality assurance contractors today. Next week, more QA contractors may lose their jobs.

According to The Washington Post, Activision had previously informed the testers that they could expect a transfer to a new staffing partner, Volt, which would come with additional benefits, bonuses, and a $1.50 per hour raise, bringing their hourly wage to $18.50. Rather, they were fired today. According to one QA tester, their project lead was unaware of the impending layoffs.

“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,” tweeted Raven associate community manager Austin O’Brien. “Today, one by one, valuable members of the team were called into meetings and told they were being let go.”

Raven Software is one of the most well-known Call of Duty studios, best known for its most recent success, Call of Duty: Warzone.

Over the last few years, Activision Blizzard departments and studios have been hit with layoffs on a regular basis. A number of esports employees were laid off earlier this year, and the company cut hundreds of jobs in 2019 after reporting record revenue.

Layoffs are common at other large publishing houses as well. In 2019, EA, for example, laid off 350 employees. Although the number of employees affected in this case is much smaller (at least for the time being), the layoffs at Raven are noteworthy—and eliciting widespread public outrage—because of the relationship between Activision Blizzard’s leadership and its employees is as tense as it has ever been. Following a recent report alleging that he was behind Activision Blizzard’s denials following the filing of California’s sexual harassment lawsuit in July, many employees called for CEO Bobby Kotick’s resignation.

In the few hours since it was posted, O’Brien’s reaction to the layoffs has been shared over a thousand times on Twitter. Many commenters have mentioned how much money Warzone brings in.

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

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