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As we have learned from the wave of layoffs at Activision Blizzard at the beginning of 2019, after the layoffs of about 8 percent of the employees, some of the same positions were re-advertised, only for less salary. Especially in Community Support, they cut neatly, which has led to the fact that there is no longer a WoW community manager for Germany, among other things.
So Activision Blizzard has been on an austerity course for a while now, which has led to resentment among employees in the recent past. A study was supposed to take a closer look at the salary differences, but the result was apparently not as satisfying as employees imagined. This is reported by investigative journalist Jason Schreier in his article for Bloomberg.
Out of anger at the low wages, one of the employees is said to have created a document in which each employee could enter his or her salary and salary increase. The document shows that salary increases are sometimes less than ten percent, which is significantly different from what was expected from the study. Meanwhile, employees in higher positions sometimes receive pay raises of 20 percent
Update: Here is the document referred to (google spreadsheet).
The salary situation at Blizzard doesn't just seem to be this precarious since 2020. As early as 2018, according to the Schreier report for Bloomberg, employees reportedly didn't have enough money for food and were avoiding team meals in the cafeteria in order to pay the rent. It also eliminates family planning for some employees, while employees in higher positions are taking trips to Disneyland.
"Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively," Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor said. "We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees."
Blizzard is still considered one of the best places in the gaming industry for aspiring designers, game developers, etc., but California is one of the most expensive states in the US to live in and Blizzard has a long history of underpaying their employees.
What keeps pissing off employees and the gaming community is the salary of managers and CEOs. CEO and President Bobby Kotick earned $30 million in 2019 alone, while the Chief Financial Officer still raked in $15 million regardless of falling stock prices. Despite another record year, Kotick says there's still more to be saved, which seems to be standard operating procedure in the gaming industry these days.