Dec 6, 2021 - Technology

Call of Duty: Warzone developers stage walkout over Activision layoffs

Screenshot: Activision
Screenshot: Activision

Organizers say more than 60 workers at the Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software, owned by Activision Blizzard, walked out today, demanding the reinstatement of a dozen workers from the testing department.

Why it matters: Walkouts, long a maneuver of organized labor, are becoming a tactic in the non-unionized U.S. video game sector.

  • Workers from another wing of the company, Blizzard, walked out in July to protest years of alleged abuse at the studio.

The details: On Friday, management began informing a dozen contractors in Raven's quality assurance department their contracts would not be renewed past January.

  • An Activision Blizzard worker group say the testing team had been told that positive changes were coming to the department and noted some of the dozen had just relocated to Wisconsin, where Raven is based.
  • The protesting workers are demanding that all testers are offered full-time jobs.
  • "The end goal of this walk out is to ensure the continued growth of Raven as a studio and to foster a positive community for everyone who works there," the worker group A Better ABK said in a statement.

What they're saying: Activision says the cuts are part of a plan to convert 500 other temporary workers to full-time employees.

  • "Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended," an Activision rep told Axios.
  • They have not commented on the protesting workers' demands.

Between the lines: Raven is the lead studio behind Warzone, a popular battle royale game that industry analyst firm Super Data estimates generates over $5 million in revenue a day.

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