Activision Blizzard has introduced that roughly 1,100 QA contractors are being transformed to full-time roles, following a turbulent yr that each noticed contractors talking out about poor working situations on the firm and a unionization push by QA staff at subsidiary studio Raven Software program.
Based on an Activision Blizzard spokesperson, each Activision Publishing and Blizzard Leisure are on the coronary heart of this push. All QA contractors in america shall be transformed to full-time standing, and the minimal hourly charge for these roles shall be elevated to $20/hour.
New staff will even be eligible to obtain firm advantages and take part within the firm’s bonus plan.
A press release from the corporate says that the transfer is a part of a plan to carry “extra content material to gamers throughout our franchises than ever earlier than.”
Activision Publishing chief working officer Josh Taub defined to staff in an e mail that the groups engaged on Name of Responsibility should still expertise durations the place they wants additional help for high quality assurance. To accommodate these durations, he says the studio does plan to herald “extra help” from “exterior companions.”
Head of Blizzard Leisure Mike Ybarra additionally e-mailed staff to share the information. He additionally mentioned that he is spent the final six months talking with QA staff to stipulate his philosophy about contract versus full-time roles.
“I wish to thank everybody who helped educate me and expressed their views on how we are able to make Blizzard the very best player-focused recreation studio,” he added. “Everyone knows QA is integral to our success in making certain the very best gameplay experiences.”
This is excellent information for QA staff on the firm, who’ve lengthy toiled for low-pay, lengthy hours, and the specter of sudden layoffs. Stated staff additionally deserve credit score for placing stress on firm management to make this occur, each by talking out to Kotaku and starting a unionization effort for QA staff.
There are some underlying frustrations that include this information. First, there’s the truth that the trouble to transform non permanent staff to full-time staff got here with the layoffs of a number of Raven Software program QA staff, lots of whom had been promised that their contracts had been safe.
Second, this would possibly make it very tough for Raven’s budding QA union to attain formal recognition from the NLRB. Activision Blizzard has disputed the scope of the union’s bargaining group, and it is fairly possible this information can have a concrete change on the scale of mentioned unit.
All of this information is as soon as once more knowledgeable by Microsoft’s ongoing effort to amass Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, in addition to still-simmering anger over allegations of a tradition of sexual harassment, toxicity, and abuse that started with a lawsuit from the California Division of Truthful Employment and Housing.
On the very least, this transfer would possibly assist with Activision Blizzard’s battle to draw and retain staff. It’s certainly simpler to retain staff if they’re being paid sufficient to remain on the firm.