Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has reported the discontent and rising tension of Blizzard Entertainment’s employees over salaries and recent pay increases.
Schreier, explains that Activision’s corporate office has “pushed game-development studio cut costs”. This follows the elimination of hundreds of jobs and delegating those roles to employees who were working in different areas. According to insiders, Blizzard’s new policy did not arrive with extra pay.
Blizzard’s employees are on the verge of revolt as they have now circulated a spreadsheet that reveals share salaries and recent pay increases. The employee who created the spreadsheet encourages the staff to share their salary information.
The anonymous document, reviewed by Bloomberg News, contains dozens of purported Blizzard salaries and pay bumps. Most of the raises are below 10%, significantly less than Blizzard employees said they expected following the study.
Schreier received dramatic stories from the developers at Blizzard, as the case of a veteran developer who received a raise “of less than 50 cents an hour”. Workers of Blizzard are understandably angry because their contribution to Activision Blizzard growth is not represented in their salary, meanwhile, a wage disparity is evident in the company.
In 2018 messages on internal Blizzard communication channels reviewed by Bloomberg News, employees talked about money-saving measures they’ve taken to remain with the company. One employee wrote that they had to skip meals to pay rent and that they used the company’s free coffee as an appetite suppressant.
Another said they would only eat oatmeal and bail on team lunches because they couldn’t afford to buy food at the company cafeteria. A third said they and their partner stopped talking about having kids because they knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it. That contrasted with pictures they saw of more senior Blizzard employees enjoying vacations to Disneyland with their families.
Unionization is being discussed at Activision Blizzard, as the employees are still angry at 2019’s compensation of CEO Bobby Kotick, reportedly around $40 million at the end of that year, the package has grown in 2020.