Call of Duty: Warzone’s new Pacific, Caldera map launches on December 8. And on December 6, the majority of Quality Assurance testers are walking out in protest after a set of QA layoffs began at Raven Software.
The Friday before Pacific’s release, it was reported that a number of QA testers had been suddenly fired — after months of promised raises. These layoffs happened at Raven Software, the principal studio tasked with Warzone, and were exposed by a community manager working with the developers.
Now, after a weekend examining the situation, it appears that the rest of the QA team will collectively protest the layoffs. According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the majority of Raven’s 40 QA testers “are walking off the job” until their peers are re-hired.
This news arose on December 6, a particularly turbulent time to lose quality testers given Pacific’s launch on December 8.
Warzone devs walk out ahead of Pacific launch
Filed to Bloomberg Terminal: Most of a team of around 40 QA testers at Raven Software, which works on Call of Duty Warzone, are walking off the job to protest a sudden layoff that began on Friday. They say they’ll be walking out until the layoff is reversed. Story shortly
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) December 6, 2021
As tweeted by Schreier, the walkout is expected to take place on Monday, December 6 and remain in effect until the fired QA testers are given their jobs back.
In the original discussion of the layoffs, the community manager revealed that the fired testers had been asked to relocate to Madison, Wisconsin and had been promised, for months, that they were in line for a “pay restructure to increase their wages.”
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While many are concerned that this walkout may impact the (now potentially un-assured) quality of Warzone Pacific, Activision have responded by explaining the extent of the layoffs.
Activision respond to Warzone devs’ protest
Activision Statement on Raven walkout: 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.
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) December 6, 2021
An Activision spokesperson, in response to the situation, explained that the company “is growing its overall investment in its development and operations resources.” As such, they have opted to ‘convert approximately 500 temporary workers to full-time employees in the coming months.’
As part of that restructure, ‘20 temporary workers across studios’ are not having their contracts renewed.
It’s unclear how many of these temps are being laid off from Warzone’s principal studio in particular, but Raven Software’s employees have been the most vocal in response. With the majority of QA testers protesting right before Pacific’s pivotal launch, Activision have yet to confirm or deny if they will meet the re-hiring demands.