Activision Blizzard Converts 1,100 QA Employees To Full Time And Increases Base Pay

Changes have been announced for some employees at Activision Publishing and Blizzard, turning nearly 1,100 US-based temporary QA employees into full-time jobs. In addition, the issuer is increasing its minimum hourly rates for QA positions to $20/hour.

As a result of the conversions, Activision Publishing’s full-time workforce will grow by 25%. Earlier, Activision Publishing announced that 500 temporary QA employees have been converted to full-time.

The announcement of these changes comes after workers went on strike, raising several concerns and other labor issues over the past year. Another element that could play a role here is the ongoing efforts to create unions at the company, and it’s unclear what impact this could have on that.

Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, but it’s clear that the company has no say in these matters until the deal closes in 2023, as expected. Recently, a group of US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, said they were “deeply concerned” about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition.

The FTC is reportedly investigating Activision Blizzard’s labor issues, particularly as part of its investigation into the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal. Whether these newly announced changes are in response to the FTC’s investigation, however, is unknown.

ABK Workers Alliance, the group that advocates for workers at Activision Blizzard King, has not commented or specifically commented on this news. However, founder Jessica Gonzalez a tweet retweeted called these changes a “big win” for employees at Activision and Blizzard.

In a statement, an Activision spokesperson said it is “refining how our teams work together to develop our games and deliver the best possible experiences for our players.”

“We have ambitious plans for the future and our Quality Assurance (QA) team members are a critical part of our development efforts,” the spokesperson said.

The conversion to full-time will take place July 1, while the pay increase to a minimum of $20 per hour begins on April 17. In addition, Activision said the employees converted from temporary to full-time are eligible for “full-time” company benefits and the company bonus plan.

In a memo to staff shared with GameSpot, Activision Publishing chief operating officer Josh Taub said Call of Duty has undergone a significant change to an “always on” model in recent years. To meet players’ demands, Taub said turning temporary QA staff into full-time “will be critical to our development success.”

For Blizzard, studio boss Mike Ybarra said the conversion from contract to full-time will help deliver games at the “Blizzard quality” level fans have come to expect. “We have great QA talent and I am very happy to make this change so that we can focus and deliver for players around the world,” he said.

One of Activision’s next major releases is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which is due out this year alongside a new Warzone experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.