Over the last month, a team of QA testers at Activision Blizzard studio, Raven, have been on strike due to a round of lay-offs announced just before the Pacific update to Call of Duty: Warzone shipped. Since then, the publisher’s board of directors has agreed to sell the company to Microsoft, and now, the strike is coming to an end.
The strike at Raven Software began in December 2021, when lay-offs were announced for the QA team, which was still hard at work testing the upcoming Warzone update ahead of launch. The group was seeking for contracted workers to be brought on full time and for more funding to go into the QA division due to Call of Duty’s continued profitability. Now, Activision Blizzard employee group, A Better ABK, has announced that the strike at Raven has come to an end.
The group added the strike ending is intended as a gesture of good faith towards Activision Blizzard management as it continues its efforts to form a workers union, known as the Game Workers Alliance. Activision Blizzard employees have been working towards unionising for months now in the wake of California’s lawsuit against the company for poor management, harassment and unfair working conditions.
At this point, any Activision Blizzard employee union will eventually have to negotiate with Microsoft, as the company will be acquiring Activision Blizzard in a near $70 billion deal, expected to complete in the first half of 2023 pending regulator approvals.
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KitGuru Says: Warzone has been quite buggy since launch, so the QA strike certainly had some impact. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how the union efforts go.