In a major win for its contractor teams, Activision-Blizzard today announced that it will make all of its QA testers full-time employees.
Following months of walk-outs, protests, and pressure, Activision-Blizzard plans to enfold 1,110 quality assurance (QA) testers into its ranks. Activision says that all of its QA teams will become full-time employees with benefits and wages starting at $20/hour.
The move comes after employees and developers banded together to form A Better ABK, a coalition aimed at fair wages and better treatment of workers. A Better ABK has organized various walk-outs at the company and a separate group, Game Workers Alliance, has formed in an effort to unionize QA testers at Raven Software. Activision previously announced that it will not formally recognize the Game Workers Alliance union and today's move is a direct response to the demands made by the pro-union group.
QA teams are invaluable assets to any games company, especially one like Activision-Blizzard who employs multiple billion-dollar live games. QA teams are the ones meticulously testing every minute detail in the biggest games including Warzone, which helped the Call of Duty brand generate $3 billion in 2020.
As per Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, Activision-Blizzard says it will not offer raises to unionizing Raven Software quality assurance testers because of "legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act",
Microsoft's massive $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has yet to be finalized and is currently being investigated closely by the Federal Trade Commission on many levels including anti-competition and consumer data.
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