Ever since Activision Blizzard made the decision to not renew contracts for and layoff a dozen members of Raven Software’s QA team, a lot has happened at the studio currently working on Call of Duty: Warzone. Following a strike and then a move to officially unionize, members of the Raven Software QA team will now be reallocated to work in different departments at the studio. However, it’s currently unclear what implications this may have on the group’s attempt to unionize.
It was originally reported by Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter that Raven Software studio head Brian Raffel sent an email to employees in which he announced that they will be doing some restructuring of the QA team. “Our QA colleagues will embed directly within various teams across the studio, including Animation, Art, Design, Audio, Production, and Engineering.” Following this report, Activision issued a statement on the matter to Polygon.
Raven Software studio head Brian Raffel emailed staff today regarding structural changes at the studio — embedding QA into different departments like art, design, and engineering. Unclear what this means for Raven’s QA union efforts. pic.twitter.com/sIk9jsGJQH
— Nicole Carpenter (@sweetpotatoes)
It has not been clarified what exactly the change means for the GWA, the union recently formed by members of Raven Software’s QA team. Some people are already calling the move a disguised union-busting attempt, as it could undercut some of the foundation of that union.
Last week, Raven Software’s QA team announced their union, Game Workers Alliance, and requested official recognition from parent company Activision Blizzard. That recognition has still not been granted, and the entire situation may have just gotten a bit more complicated. We’ll be sure to update this article with any potential updates to the story.