Ex-Overwatch 2 dev calls out Blizzard for managerial mistreatment in scathing thread

Jeremy Gan
Overwatch 2 promotional splash image

An ex-Overwatch 2 dev has accused Blizzard’s management of “mistreatment” and even giving him a fake promotion, calling the company “evil” in the process. 

Blizzard has had a rough past year, dealing with Microsoft’s acquisition and the subsequent mass layoffs across the board, all this despite still launching major new releases like Diablo 4, and continuing support for Overwatch 2 as a live-service.

Now, as the dust settles following the latest round of layoffs, a former Overwatch 2 developer, ex-Lead VFX Artists Chris Sayers, has come out with their story, sharing details from their 13 months in the company.

From alleged strife with management, to supposed “mistreatment,” and even at one point being ‘gaslit’ with a “fake promotion,” the thread certainly doesn’t hold back.

Ex-Overwatch 2 dev makes damning allegations against Blizzard

Sayers, now the Lead VFX artist for Anchor Point Studios, a dev team under the NetEase umbrella, posted a lengthy, scathing thread about his time with Blizzard. During his tenure, he claimed he was working “4 people’s jobs at once”, with management making promises they allegedly had “no intention of fulfilling”. 

“In July of 2023, I was invited to a meeting by Art Leadership and production, to let me know they were interested in promoting me to Lead VFX Artist of the cosmetics team,” Sayer wrote. He had served as Senior VFX Artist for 9 months by this stage, according to his LinkedIn.

“Before accepting, I was adamant, that we were all on the same page about the full role, what it meant, what I would be doing, and also, what the “promotion” would come with. Pay increase, title change, and confirmed all of those details before going further.” 

Sayers’ new role involved becoming a line manager of three people and managing their entire outsourced VFX pipeline, among other additional responsibilities, he detailed. 

However, in his first week, he claimed he was made to fire a new employee because he wouldn’t return to the office. This was supposedly due to the fact they were a carer for their parents, and were waiting for medical accommodation for them. 

Sayers then went on to claim Blizzard’s response to his employee’s predicament was, “Yeah [laughing] we’re not gonna do that for a junior.”

After the employee was fired, Sayers supposedly took on their workload directly. Amidst that, Blizzard allegedly refused to hire an intern under him, which meant he had to take on their workload as well. 

As for Sayers’ pay increase, he explained, “A month goes by, and I have now sent an email or Slack message, every other day to find out what is happening with the pay increase and title change.” However, was told he had to wait until August 2023, according to his statement. 

“I then discover that as I am earning less than 50% of every other Lead VFX Artist at Blizzard, so much so, that as a Lead, my salary is lower than every person I am managing,” Sayers said. “I’m told it’s because I’m in the UK, and my salary is based on market value, not my value.

Sayers claimed that Blizzard HR’s response to his complaints was, “Why would we pay you more than we have to? That doesn’t make any business sense.” 

After weeks of pestering management, Sayers claimed HR still refused to recognize his promotion to the point he had to file a formal complaint. However, after the investigation into the complaint was completed, it ruled that HR did “nothing wrong”, shortly after he handed in his resignation. 

However, after putting in his notice, HR put a three-month non-compete clause on Sayers, he claimed. “HR then told me that because of my role as a Lead, I had gained inexplicable knowledge that would put me at a business risk to work anywhere else!!! So they are activating a Non-Compete Clause that restricts me from working ANYWHERE AT ALL for 3 MONTHS!!!!”

For the three months in which he seemingly couldn’t work, Sayers alleged he was not paid by Blizzard. HR’s supposed response to it was, “Well, you probably shouldn’t have signed the contract then.” 

Sayers ended off the thread, saying, “I don’t know what the point of this is, but, I needed to get it off my chest. Blizzard had every opportunity to do the right thing, and they continually failed at that.”

In a reply further below his initial thread, Sayers would go on to label the company “evil and unhelpful at every turn.”

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