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Blizzard employees at Versailles studio strike over proposed office closure

Various unions representing workers at Blizzard's Versailles studio called for a strike on Tuesday in opposition of the company's plan to shutter offices.

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Activision-Blizzard has made no secrets about its attempts to lower operating costs by cutting staff over the last couple of years. Workers at Blizzard offices in Versaille, France have now been urged by union representation to begin striking in protest of the most recent attempts to shrink the company’s employment costs. The closure of the Blizzard offices in Versaille would result in the loss of 285 employees.

Blizzard began a large round of layoffs back in 2012 across its North American operations. Nearly ten percent of its total workforce was laid off just a month after CEO Bobby Kotick announced that the company’s financial results for 2018 were the best in company history. At the same time, 133 Blizzard jobs in France were on the chopping block until the courts stepped in to prevent the layoffs.

In a statement made by the unions representing the Versaille workers on October 13, Blizzard was accused of purposefully worsening working conditions to lower morale. The statement also accused Blizzard of orchestrating the office closure in order to dodge tax liability. 

With most major video game publishers seeing record revenues and positive financial momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden move to wipe more jobs off the books appears particularly callous.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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