Activision-Blizzard addresses Call of Duty mess, striking devs report ‘radio silence’

oh nooooooo

Raven Software, developer of several Call of Duty titles including COD: Warzone, is still on strike due to a sudden bout of firing of QA staff ahead of the holidays. As one might suspect, this is putting a damper on fixes and updates to some of the series’ most recent titles, which brought forth a message from the COD Twitter account that promises the devs “hear [players], and [the developers] feel [player] frustrations” and that fixes for Vanguard, Warzone, and Modern Warfare are in the works, followed by successive messages regarding released fixes and known issues for Warzone and Vanguard.

This promise of hearing complaints and feeling frustrations was used to draw attention to the continuing plight of QA devs, as Kate Anderson, a QA tester for Blizzard, clapped back at the message. “Striking employees have received countless similar emails also saying ‘we hear you, and we feel your frustrations’ yet leadership refuses to communicate directly with us,” Anderson wrote, “The state of COD games right now is a direct result of their inability to lead responsibly.”

Anderson’s report of ActiBlizz leadership’s refusal to communicate aligns with reports made by QA devs to Inverse, all of whom report “radio silence” from the studio even as the strike moves forward. “The company continues to publicly state how it wants to develop a clear line of communication between management and employees while actively going against its claims of transparency behind closed doors. ABK is not looking to change its toxic ways and improve the company culture anytime soon,” said one anonymous employee. Readers will note that these accounts fly directly in the face of a claim from ActiBlizz that it reached out to Raven employees.

sources: Twitter (1, 2) via Dexerto, Inverse
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. Last summer, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation.
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