Blizzard: Diablo and Overwatch devs demand pay increases

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Hundreds of Blizzard devs have begun organizing to demand fairer pay, according to a new report in Bloomberg. Workers are expected to present a list of requests to management “as early as this week.” The report says that the push for labor organizing took place in a company Slack channel with more than 870 members.

The workers’ requests include “changes to how promotions are doled out, increased vacation time, and pay bumps for members of the customer service and quality-assurance departments.”


“We will continue to adapt our compensation to build and keep the workforce our company needs today and tomorrow,” Blizzard’s Dustin Blackwell told Bloomberg in a statement. “We understand that some Blizzard employees have specific requests, and we look forward to hearing from them directly.”

There’s been a great deal of discussion about labor issues in the industry recently, but video-game developers don’t have proper unions like the ones in film and television.

In an earnings call on Tuesday, Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin reported that Blizzard alone generated $461 million in the second quarter of 2020. As a whole, the company’s quarterly revenue totaled $1.93 billion, led by titles like Modern Warfare, the free-to-play Warzone release, and World of Warcraft.

“The addition of the Warzone free-to-play experience has significantly increased the reach, engagement, and player investment in Call of Duty, building on existing strength for our largest franchise and creating a strong foundation for future financial performance,” Durkin said.


“That said,” he added, “we remain mindful of risks and uncertainties related to the global economic weakness, rising unemployment, and potential pressures on the retail channel and pricing.”