Skip to main content

Raven responds as Call of Duty: Warzone strike continues into third week

Call of Duty Warzone
(Image credit: Activision)

Update: Call of Duty: Warzone developer Raven Software has begun speaking to QA staff over their ongoing strike.

In a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, an Activision spokesperson said that "Raven leadership has engaged in dialogue with its staff to hear concerns and explain the company's overall investment in development resources."

Activision reiterated that it had recently converted "nearly 500" temporary workers to full-time staff, and said that "for the 12 temporary workers at Raven whose agreements were not extended, we provided an extended notice period, included payment for the two-week holiday break, and will be working directly with those that need relocation assistance."

Update: The Call of Duty: Warzone QA department is continuing its strike into a third working week, and says that it has not heard from leadership over its demands.

In a statement shared via Twitter, developers at Raven Software said that January 3 was the start of the third working week of their strike and that "we have not had any communication from leadership" regarding its demand that all staff - including those laid off last year - should be offered full-time positions.

See more

The department says it wishes "to be able to foster a transparent and trusting relationship" at Raven, and that last year's downsizing "without input from anyone within the department is concerning to us and others throughout the company."

Original story: Most of the quality assurance team working on Call of Duty: Warzone are striking in protest of a large number of surprise layoffs that began last week.

According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, "most of a team of around 40 QA testers [...] 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." A statement from the group posted on Twitter via CharlieIntel and Axios reporter Stephen Totilo backed up those claims.

See more

Last week, Activision began meetings with several contractors to inform staff whether they would be keeping or losing their jobs from January 28 onwards, with roughly 12 staff - almost a third of the team - being told that they would need to find new jobs in the new year, despite not having underperformed in their roles. This reportedly comes after QA staff were told that Activision was working towards a pay restructure that would see wages increase.

The walkout comes just days before the start of Call of Duty: Vanguard's integration with Warzone, a mode that Raven is primarily responsible for the upkeep of. Given the difficulties created by the integration with Black Ops: Cold War and Modern Warfare last year, the QA department is likely to prove very important during the transition, meaning this collective action could create substantial difficulties for the start of Warzone's next era.

The collective action also comes amid a very difficult time for Activision Blizzard in general. The company is facing an ongoing lawsuit relating to claims of sexism and harassment, and there have been repeated calls for CEO Bobby Kotick to step down due to his inability to fix the company's culture during his tenure.

In a statement, Activision said that "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 works across studios that their contracts would not be extended."

While the first day of action was mostly limited to Raven employees, the following day saw others from across Activision Blizzard join the strike.

Here's when the Call of Duty: Warzone new map is due to drop.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.