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Blizzard Workers Organize List of Workplace Requests for Management Including Fair Pay
05/08/2020 à 23:00
that Blizzard employees created a spreadsheet to share salaries and document being underpaid in the video games industry, we now have a
follow-up report from Bloomberg
that Blizzard workers are creating a list of workplace demands to present to management, ranging from fair pay to increased sick time.
Note: we are reporting on the coverage, and while compensation is a serious issue at Blizzard, we cannot validate how far along, or successful, the negotiation process is.
Bloomberg's Follow-Up Report
There are no unions among major video game companies, so this organized labor movement, involving hundreds of employees, is particularly noteworthy.
Hundreds of employees at Blizzard Entertainment, the video game developer behind Diablo and Overwatch, are using the company’s Slack network to organize a list of workplace requests, including fair pay and increased sick time. Results of the effort, a rare example of labor organizing in the video game industry, are expected to be presented to management as early as this week, people familiar with the initiative said.
A draft version of the list, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News, asks for changes to how promotions are doled out, increased vacation time and pay bumps for members of the customer service and quality assurance departments. The list was compiled and discussed in a communication channel on Blizzard’s Slack with more than 870 members.
Activision Blizzard replied with the following statement:
Blizzard, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., said it will review employee feedback and consider changes to pay. “We will continue to adapt our compensation to build and keep the workforce our company needs today and tomorrow,” Dustin Blackwell, a spokesman for Blizzard, wrote in an emailed statement. “We understand that some Blizzard employees have specific requests, and we look forward to hearing from them directly.”
As we recently covered, Blizzard Entertainment is located in a very expensive area of California, and the salaries, which may look desirable to players in cheaper countries and states, are not in line with the high cost-of-living expenses. In addition, Irvine and nearby Los Angeles are major industry hubs for games and entertainment companies, which offer more-competitive salaries, such as Riot Games.
Since the initial story broke, some employees have come forward to discuss their stories more, including the
Honor Points reward system
in place of compensation and
receiving game time and Battle.net balance
in lieu of cost-of-living increases.
(Note: we have verified the source of the Honor Points screenshot and can confirm both are authentic. The full uncensored image was provided to us, and below we present a version that has removed sensitive information.)
In the employee document reviewed by Bloomberg, workers wrote that some are being paid below $40,000 a year. That’s less than half of the median household income in Irvine, California, where Blizzard’s main campus is based. The dynamics are having an impact on staff retention, according to the document. “Our mentors are leaving in droves,” the employees wrote.
Activision Blizzard held their
second-quarter financial results conference call
yesterday, announcing surpassed expectations with second quarter revenue growing 38% to $1.93 billion. The topic of compensation was not brought up during the call, which according to Bloomberg, led employees to express disappointment.
Make sure to check out our
on this story, and the
documenting Blizzard salaries.
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