Activision Strike 3: Call of Duty Warzone Developers Protest Co-Workers’ Layoffs

A new controversy appears on Activision. The company is completely submerged in a tide of accusations and confrontations of the employees with the management. Now, a new chapter is added in the history of the company, this time from one of its most important divisions.

As The Washington Post reported, Activision started an intense wave of layoffs at Raven Software, the studio in charge of Call of Duty Warzone and a contributor to Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. Activision’s measures come after promising several employees that their conditions would be improved or without prior notice. As a result, about a third of Raven Software’s QA staff is no longer in the studio.

Following this move by the company, several Warzone and Raven Software developers (around 30) have raised their voices and demanded measures to stop the layoffs. One of them is to go on strike today and not show up for work.

This is the group’s statement, revealed by Stephen Totilo:

On Friday, December 3, 12 of Raven Software’s QA testers were brought to individual meetings and informed that their contracts would be terminated on January 28. These people were fired in “good standing,” meaning they had not underperformed or committed any offense that was liable to be fired.

Most of those who were not fired on December 3 are still unsure of their employment status. These staff cuts come after five weeks of overtime and before a crunchy year-end. The QA team, which at the moment mainly works on Call of Duty: Warzone so far has been reduced by just over 30%. The Raven board told this team multiple times that there were future positive changes in the departments. These upcoming changes were also used as the reason why no team member would receive promotions or raises that would take place in March 2021.

The 12 people who have been laid off so far are considered by their colleagues, by far, as essential to the day-to-day running of Raven’s QA team. Several of them recently moved to Wisconsin in anticipation of returning to face-to-face work.

They did so without Raven’s relocation help, due to the studio’s assurances that their workload would be firm. Call of Duty: Warzone, which recently announced the release of a new map and integration with Call of Duty: Vanguard, is earning $ 5.2 million per day.

In response to Friday’s events, Raven’s QA team and other Raven staff members will come out with a lawsuit: Every member of the QA team, including those laid off on Friday, must be offered full-time positions.

Those who participate, do so with the continued success of the study in mind. Raven’s QA department is essential to the day-to-day running of the studio as a whole. Terminating QA members’ contracts at a time of heavy workload put the studio’s health at risk.

Also, these actions go directly against the positive culture that Raven has created over the years. The ultimate goal of this strike is to ensure the continued growth of Raven as a studio and to foster a positive community for everyone who works there.