Staff at Activision Blizzard have accused the company of losing workers and “creating crisis maps” of what it can release, due to issues with the company’s remote working policy.
In a series of tweets posted yesterday, World Of Warcraft game producer Adam ‘Glaxigrav’ claimed he has lost “yet another” employee this week.
“Blizzard is losing amazing talent because someone in power doesn’t listen to the game directors who make his products,” wrote Adam, who said Blizzard can’t “make better Dragonflights […] If we get rid of everyone who made it”.
“‘Some talent’ is undermining the point,” he continued. “We are creating crisis maps of what we can or cannot ship. That is the loss of capacity we’re facing. I literally have a schedule I strike out as people hand in notice.”
Adam accused Blizzard’s remote work policy of being the “largest” reason for employees leaving.
Earlier in the year, Activision Blizzard implemented a policy that made it mandatory for employees to work in-office three days a week — something that Adam said clashes with the “better work/life balances” workers have found working remotely.
One of my people was hired in Colorado and understood she had a year to move. She now has to move by July.
I know folks who moved further out so it’s more affordable – commuting once a week isn’t a big deal. But 3x mandatory in-office is a LOT to commute from central CA.
— Adam 💙 #ABetterABK (@Glaxigrav) April 18, 2023
Today (April 19), several Activision Blizzard workers helped paint a picture of attrition within the company.
“Forced [return to office] has cost us some amazing people and will continue to cost us more in the coming months,” added Allison Steele, a senior game designer for World Of Warcraft.
Steele accused the stance of being “soft layoffs,” and described it as “a terrible, shortsighted, self-destructive policy that is only weakening our ability to deliver the kind of game we want to make and our players deserve”.
forced rto has cost us some amazing people and will continue to cost us more in the coming months.
it is a terrible, shortsighted, self-destructive policy that is only weakening our ability to deliver the kind of game we want to make and our players deserve. https://t.co/1M94XLJGY2
— Allison Steele, GameObject (cohost.org/trulyaliem) (@SteeleGame) April 19, 2023
“It’s not just hitting WoW,” shared Christina Pollock, a programmer for Activision’s Call Of Duty series. “Expect this of all [Activision Blizzard King] products.”
Responding to the complaints when approached by NME, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said the employee referenced by Adam left of their own accord, and claimed Blizzard’s retention rate has improved since last year’s annual report — which acknowledged “a significantly higher turnover rate” at the company.
Regarding World Of Warcraft, the spokesperson shared its developing team has “been shipping more content than ever before to the community”.
Earlier in the year, unionisers at Activision Blizzard-owned studio Proletariat called for remote work to be made a permanent option at the company. However, plans to unionise were later scrapped.