Activision Blizzard is giving job testers a thousand full-time and high-paying jobs

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Activision Blizzard has just announced that all temporary and QA contingent employees of its Activision Publishing and Blizzard divisions are being converted to full-time employees – meaning that nearly 1,100 temporary gaming testers are getting full-time jobs. full of benefits. They will make higher wages as well, with a new minimum hourly rate of $ 20.

Here is a full statement from Jessica Taylor, Activision Blizzard’s vice president of corporate communications:

Across Activision Blizzard, we are bringing more content to players on our franchises than ever before. As a result, we are improving the way our teams work together to develop our games and provide the best possible experiences for our players. We have ambitious plans for the future and members of our Quality Assurance (QA) team are a critical part of our development efforts.

Therefore, today we announced the conversion of all members of the US-based temporary and contingent QA team to Activision Publishing (AP) and Blizzard – nearly 1,100 people in total – to full-time permanent employees starting July 1. In addition, we are raising the minimum hourly rate for these team members is $ 20 / hour or more effective on April 17th. These employees will also be eligible to participate in the company bonus plan and will have access to the full benefits of the company.

The change follows a process that began last year across the AP and Blizzard of converting temporary and contingent employees, including 500 in AP studios, to full-time permanent employees.

The change comes after significant employee activism behind Raven Software, an Activision studio known for its work on Call of Duty series, announced in December that it would lay off SC contractors. Some workers went on strike in protest, and some have since formed a union, the Games Workers Alliance, which he formed with the Communication Workers of America.

However, Raven QA testers I will not to increase, according to of Bloomberg Jason Schreier. Activision Blizzard confirmed this threshold and shared an email from Raven Software Vice President Brian Raffel with the context. “Because of our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, we are prohibited from making new types of compensation changes in Raven at this time,” Raffel wrote. You can read Raffel’s full email at the end of this article.

“Make no mistake, all credit for Activision Blizzard’s recent move to give all QA team members temporary and contingent full-time employment and an increase should go to the workers who have been organizing , mobilized and spoken, “Secretary of Communications Workers of America. said in a statement to cashier Sara Steffens threshold.

“It is particularly sad that Activision has excluded Raven Software QA employees who have been at the forefront of this effort from these benefits. The company’s claim that the National Labor Relations Act prevents them from involving Raven workers is clearly an attempt to divide workers and undermine their efforts to form a union (Game Workers Alliance – CWA). Activision’s insincere announcement is further evidence of the need for employees to have a protected voice at work. We strongly urge Activision Blizzard to rectify this situation and to respect the protected right of Raven QA employees to organize in accordance with the law. ”

Epic Games announced a similar decision to turn testers into full-time employees earlier this year.

Activision has also been under considerable pressure following the July lawsuit by the state of California alleging that the company fostered a culture of “persistent sexual harassment.” of Wall Street Journal reported in November that CEO Bobby Kotick has been aware of allegations of sexual misconduct in the company for years. California’s lawsuit is ongoing, though a judge recently approved a $ 18 million deal reached with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over his separate lawsuit.

The changes also take place in the shadow of Microsoft’s imminent $ 68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Activision provided emails regarding the changes to threshold that Activision Publishing and Blizzard executives sent to their teams this week. We have included the following:

Email to US Activision Publishing Employees by Josh Taub, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Publishing

By: Josh Taub

Subject line: Update on QA

Team,

Over the last two years, Call of Duty has expanded and evolved. Our development cycles have shifted from an annual version to an “always active” model. In response to greater commitment, we have grown our direct services business across all platforms. Our offers now include seasonal leave, operators and great content available in our stores. We have also increased our workforce and support in our studios, along with exciting new mobile plans.

In light of these changes, and as we look at our ambitious plans for the future, we are further elaborating on how our development teams work together. SC is and continues to be critical to our development success. We have amazing QA teams working hard to ensure our players have the best possible gaming experience – thank you!

I am pleased to announce that we are conversion of all US-based QA temporary and part-time employees to full-time employees (FTEs). We are increasing their hourly rate to a minimum of $ 20 / hour and are offering access to the full benefits of the company and they will be eligible to participate in the company bonus program.

This change follows the conversion of nearly 500 temporary and conditional full-time employees into Activision Publishing studios and other ongoing conversions that have taken place in recent months.

like Call of Duty evolves, we predict periods where the workload will fluctuate and exceed the bandwidth of our expanded team. With this in mind, we are adding additional support to our team from external partners. This is a long practice in the studio and industry that will give us more flexibility and capacity to support business needs and enable our in-house teams to focus on results that impact our business the most.

Together, we will change the game and take Call of Duty to the next level.

-Josh

Email Blizzard employees from Mike Ybarra, head of Blizzard

By: Mike Ybarra

Topic: Blizzard Quality Delivery: Full-time QA conversions

Hello Blizzard,

We have shared with many of you the exciting experiences we are bringing to players in 2022 and beyond. There is so much going on in our teams – and this is just the beginning of our renewed focus on putting our teams and players at the top of everything we do.

Our ability to deliver great games at the “Blizzard quality” level that our players expect is vital to ensuring that we exceed player expectations. Over the last 6 months, I have had the opportunity to listen and engage with members of our QA team and have had several meetings where I have outlined my philosophy around full time contracts / roles. I want to thank everyone who helped me with my education and expressed their views on how we can make Blizzard the best player-centered gaming studio. We all know that QA is an integral part of our success in providing the best possible gaming experiences.

Some time ago, QA leadership began to change their approach to complementing team staff, converting more temporary and contract employees (TEAs) to full-time employees (FTEs) and using partners to support short-term increases in workload. Today, this change in approach is culminating in a conversion of all remaining US-based TEAs / contractors to QA – more than 90 people in Irvine, Austin and Albany – to FTE. We are also raising the minimum hourly rate for QA to $ 20 / hour and they will qualify for our bonus program and incremental benefits.

We have great QA talent and I am very happy to make this change so that we can focus and deliver to players across the globe. If you have any questions, please contact me, your HR partner or Wladia Summers.

Thanks for your comments and for helping us make this change.

Thank you,

Mike

Email Raven employees from Brian Raffel, vice president at Raven Software

By: Brian Raffel

Topic: Activision QA Updates

Date: Thursday, April 7th

Team,

Today, it was announced that all US-based TEA and QA contingent employees will be converted to FTE. This news is based on our conversions across AP studios that started in December 2021. Through direct dialogue with each other, we improved salary, expanded benefits and provided professional opportunities to attract and retain the world’s best talent.

As part of today’s news, those Activision QA teams will receive an increase in minimum hourly rates. In addition, when the conversions are made, those QA employees will have access to the full benefits of the company and the right to participate in the company bonus program, in the same way that our Raven QA teams have already been to condition. Due to our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, we are prohibited from making new types of compensation changes in Raven at this time.

I encourage you to talk to any department head, manager or human resources to learn more about the union, this process or to answer any specific questions about the news.

As always, I will share more details when I can. I’m excited about what this could mean for our teams.

– Brian

Discovery: Casey Wasserman is on the board of directors for Activision Blizzard, as well as on the board of directors of Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.

Updated April 7, 3:45 PM ET: Added statement by Communications Workers of America.

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