Activision and Raven Software fire Call of Duty QA testers

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Do it quickly at the expense of quality: Raven Software QA testers are called to meetings to inform them of pending layoffs. The move was made despite the company’s profit surging in the third quarter and Activision’s continued promise of a pay rise. This move has the potential to add yet another self-inflicted injury to Activision’s already heavily damaged reputation.

Sometimes it seems Activision just can’t help but shoot itself in the foot. The tweet from Call of Duty community leader Austin O’Brien said Activision has started meeting with the game’s quality assurance (QA) testing team to advise them of upcoming layoffs. According to a source close to Kotaku, the layoffs have already emptied more than a third of the QA team and will continue into the next week. The layoffs come amid the company’s continued struggle against allegations of harassment and abuse.

O’Brien’s follow-up tweets indicate that many QA testers have been asked to relocate to the Madison, WI area to work on projects supporting the popular franchise. The developers were also told that they would receive pay raises on numerous occasions, although the increases never materialized. Instead, according to the Kotaku source, Activision will hire a handful of testers on a permanent basis, leaving the rest of the team unemployed just in time for the holidays.

While the news of layoffs can be negative, O’Brien’s appeal to industry friends with open opportunities can yield positive results. The contacts of major developers like Zenimax to local Madison-based development studios such as Lost boys interactive responded with leads and openings in hopes of finding a home for the displaced QA team.

Video game QA testers are primarily responsible for playing and replaying games (or sections of games) to identify bugs, issues, and exploits so that they can be fixed before or shortly after release. launch. Games with consistent releases and massive player bases, like War zone, rely heavily on these testers to make sure versions are functional and don’t disrupt gamers or the surrounding multi-million dollar industry that spawned everything from cash tournaments to live streams and Warzone-based podcasts. .

The sudden layoffs are not a first for Activision. Earlier this year, the company punish more than 190 employees, citing the changes needed to cut costs and reinvent themselves during the pandemic. Meanwhile, CEO Bobby Kotick raked in over $ 200 million in bonuses during the same period.

Image credit: Video player by Sean Do



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