Workers call Activision Blizzard management as it reaches $35 million settlement with SEC

A Better ABK, the proto-union labor group supporting Activision-Blizzard developers, has once again highlighted management misconductshares its attempts to adjust performance review processes and lists required adjustments.

According to the Twitter thread, on Dec. 8, QA personnel across the company sent an open letter to QA leadership at the company’s Eden Prairie, Minnesota office, requesting changes to the Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). On Dec. 13, the group said the management team “blatantly and unceremoniously ignored” those requests, prompting employees to share them publicly the management team’s response and take on a Q&A session to shed some light.

The group further outlines the changes QA staff are striving for, such as clearer appeals procedures and communication, progressive discipline, and PIPs as a vehicle for progressive staff growth. “The current process in its current form unilaterally harms our colleagues,” argues the thread. “Implementing these demands is a necessary step forward in listening directly and effectively to employees so that together we can create a better OAC.”


Readers will recall that this isn’t the first time ActiBlizz’s employee evaluation processes have caused consternation: a toxic use of “stack ranking” employees are working on WoW classic and team leader Brian Birmingham’s fight against it eventually led to his fall.

In other Activision Blizzard Red news, the company has agreed a $35 million settlement with the SEC over the government agency’s findings that the company failed to properly disclose to investors how it was being investigated for workplace misconduct, as well as the discovery of a clause in severance agreements from 2016 to 2021 that required former employees to inform Acti-Blizz if they were contacted by government agencies or employment agencies — a clause that was permanently removed in 2022.

The settlement amounts to a financial slap in the face; Recall that the studio reported revenue of $543 million in the third quarter of 2022 alone (the next financial report is expected on Monday) and the settlement only came about because investors were hurt. Readers will also recall that this is the second such agreement that ABK has entered into with a US federal agency; it settled on $18 million with the Federal EEOC last March.

Advertising Workers call Activision Blizzard management as it reaches $35 million settlement with SEC

Curtis Crabtree

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