Ahead of Activision Blizzard being acquired by Microsoft at some point either later this year or next year, the company has announced that it's giving nearly 1,110 of its quality assurance workers full-time jobs and pay rises.
In a statement, Activision Blizzard’s vice president of corporate communications Jessica Taylor enthused that QA team members "are a critical part of our development efforts," and there are "ambitious plans for the future".
Here's the statement in full (via The Verge):
"Across Activision Blizzard, we are bringing more content to players across our franchises than ever before. As a result, we are refining how our teams work together to develop our games and deliver the best possible experiences for our players. We have ambitious plans for the future and our Quality Assurance (QA) team members are a critical part of our development efforts."
"Therefore, today we announced the conversion of all US-based temporary and contingent QA team members at Activision Publishing (AP) and Blizzard - nearly 1,100 people in total - to permanent full-time employees starting July 1. Additionally, we are increasing the minimum hourly rate for these team members to $20/hr or more effective April 17. These employees also will be eligible to participate in the company’s bonus plan and will have access to full company benefits."
"This change follows a process that began last year across AP and Blizzard of converting temporary and contingent employees, including 500 at AP’s studios, to permanent full-time employees."
Unfortunately for Raven Software QA testers, they won't be getting similar raises right now due to what Raven says are "legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act" that prevent "new kinds of compensation changes at this time." You may remember that Raven was also in the news recently for laying off a portion of QA contractors, which led to some people going on strike along with the formation of a new worker's union.
Here's a bit of what the vice president at Raven Software had to say to employees in an email:
"As part of today’s news, those Activision QA teams will receive an increase in minimum hourly rates. In addition, when the conversions take place, those QA employees will have access to full company benefits and eligibility to participate in the company’s bonus program, the same way our Raven QA teams have already been able to. Due to our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, we are prohibited from making new kinds of compensation changes at Raven at this time."
Elsewhere, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard shows no signs of completion as of yet, but they've got until June 2023 to get the deal done. Let's hope some ActiBlizz Game Pass games are added in the meantime...
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