Image: Activision

Members of Call of Duty developer Raven Software staged a walkout today to protest Activision’s recent decision of laying off many of its QA testers.

According to a statement shared by Kotaku, Raven Software has demanded that everyone on the QA team, including those who were fired, be given full-time positions. The developer has stressed how crucial the QA team is to Raven, noting that their absence could have severe consequences for the well-being of the studio.

A portion of the full statement from Raven’s QA team:

[…] the Raven QA team and other members of Raven’s staff will be walking out with a singular demand: Every member of the QA team, including those terminated on Friday, must be offered full time positions. Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind. The Raven QA department is essential to the day-to-day functioning of the studio as a whole. Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk. Additionally, these actions go directly against the positive culture that Raven has created over the years. 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.

“Those participating in this demonstration do so with the continued success of the studio at the forefront of their mind,” the group wrote in a statement to Kotaku. “The Raven QA department is essential to the day-to-day functioning of the studio as a whole. Terminating the contracts of high performing testers in a time of consistent work and profit puts the health of the studio at risk.”

“Activision Publishing is growing its overall investment in its development and operations resources,” a spokesperson later told the publication in an email. “We are converting approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months. Unfortunately, as part of this change, we also have notified 20 temporary workers across studios that their contracts would not be extended.”

Call of Duty critics who have accused the franchise of being dull, buggy, and uninspired have taken the opportunity to poke fun at the developer, claiming that Raven’s QA team has been doing an unremarkable job anyway. Its last big title was Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which was developed in cooperation with Treyarch.

Source: Kotaku

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4 Comments

  1. Yeah, this is not how it works. What have game development devolved into where QA employees (the lowest of the low in the food chain at a dev company) are demanding things from the employer? Or else what they accuse them of discrimination and bullying? That seems to be trending now.

    What dream world are these people live in? A business is supposed to make money, if they can’t make money they need to cut the staff. And while it might not seem fair that the management doesn’t fire themselves, but a company can run without low level staff, but it cannot run without a chain of command.

  2. Regardless of right or wrong it really amazes me how unrecognizable Activision is compared to the 80s. I remember buying their cartridge’s for my pre-VCS Atari and how they just rocked over Atari’s inhouse games. Same thing for my old 8-bit computer. When I got back into gaming in the 2000s I enjoyed some of those early Spider-Man Treyarch games on console and PC but not long after the 2nd movie they really felt uninspired. I can’t remember the last time I purchased something from them.

  3. They are undergoing an epic pump and dump buying up small companies and building profits until it stops then the stock holders will dump and move on.

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