Activision Blizzard employees are pushing back against the company after it was announced that remote working will no longer be an available option for workers, with the developer expecting all employees to be able to work from the office within the next few months of 2023.
With remote working more accessible and popular than ever, those who work in the gaming industry have been able to complete their jobs and tasks from the comfort of their home, or at the very least, in a city or country outside of the regular office locations. This flexibility is something that has been a great benefit and success to many gaming development teams across the industry.
However, it has just been revealed by many Blizzard employees that the company is looking to scrap remote work altogether in 2023, with new expectations forcing workers to resign if they are unable to commit to at least 3 days of in-office work.
As reported in Game Developer, a spokesperson for Activision revealed that office work would resume on April 10 for Activision Publishing employees, and July 10 for Blizzard employees. For Overwatch 2 narrative designer Joshi Zhang, Blizzard’s firm stance on ending remote work could lead to them having to resign from a job and role that they love.
“I don’t talk much about dev stuff on this account anymore but I would like to openly voice my dissatisfaction with the RTO policies proposed,” began Zhang, before adding that, “we shipped OW2 during the WFH model. We continue to put out quality content because we love this game as much as the community does.”
Zhang then expressed their frustration at this decision despite recent years proving that the current work-from-home model is successful. “For me, potentially having to ‘voluntarily resign’ if I choose not to RTO makes me feel unvalued despite the love and hard work I’ve put in. I strongly urge leadership to reconsider this decision. Blizzard has more than demonstrated what we’re capable of in the current model.”
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Zhang then finally expressed how, if forced to choose between their work on Overwatch 2 and the rest of their life, they will choose the latter every time. “I love Overwatch. But I will not uproot my life simply because the company is summoning everyone to a singular geographic location. I have too much to lose by moving. Between my progress toward a healthy balanced life and my love for my job, I choose my life 100% of the time.”
Meanwhile, others from rival companies like Respawn Entertainment explained how their work output actually increased after a swap to working from home.
“We’ve launched 3x more seasons remotely (and predominantly remotely) than we ever did fully in office,” Apex Legends Social Media Lead Alex chimed in.
At the time of writing, Blizzard is yet to comment on the backlash surrounding their decision to put a stop to remote working. However, we’ll be sure to keep you updated if and when the issue is addressed by the company.