Blizzard’s Latest Q&A Leaves Employees Disgruntled

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Blizzard’s Latest Q&A Leaves Employees Disgruntled

Famously uncontroversial company Blizzard has come under fire from employees following a recent Q&A meeting yesterday with Blizzard president Mike Ybarra, as reported by Bryant Francis of GameDeveloper. The Q&A was mostly related to the internal workings of Activision-Blizzard, with some of the big topics including the return to in-person workdays at the offices, the accompanying pay cuts to employees, and the widely maligned “stack ranking” system. This comes at a time when game worker unions are becoming far more common as a result of industry-wide mistreatment, so the Q&A was met with immediate blowback.

The return to in-person was immediately met with criticism, given the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased costs associated with going back to in-person offices like gas prices and housing if an employee needs to relocate. This combined with the reveal that employees would only receive 58% of their initial profit-sharing bonus only added to the ire of the disgruntled employees.

This was followed up by statements that many took as Ybarra saying that quality assurance testers and customer service jobs weren’t as valuable as other jobs in the company, and that he and other executives were just as affected as the non-executive employees by the reduced bonus.

The QA comments are especially concerning, given that just last month it was reported that Blizzard’s low-end pay for QA testers was far less than other companies like Riot and Bungie.

Several employees took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction with the results of the meeting.

Blizzard has been the center of a multitude of controversies as the unsavory aspects of the games industry has come under much more scrutiny over the past few years. Despite the continued success of their mega hits like hero-shooter Overwatch 2 and MMO juggernaut World of Warcraft the internal structure of the company seems to still be a mess.

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