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Raven Software restructures QA team amid unionization move

Members of Raven's QA team are being assigned to work alongside other departments at the studio.

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Ever since Activision Blizzard made the decision to not renew contracts for and layoff a dozen members of Raven Software’s QA team, a lot has happened at the studio currently working on Call of Duty: Warzone. Following a strike and then a move to officially unionize, members of the Raven Software QA team will now be reallocated to work in different departments at the studio. However, it’s currently unclear what implications this may have on the group’s attempt to unionize.

It was originally reported by Polygon's Nicole Carpenter that Raven Software studio head Brian Raffel sent an email to employees in which he announced that they will be doing some restructuring of the QA team. “Our QA colleagues will embed directly within various teams across the studio, including Animation, Art, Design, Audio, Production, and Engineering.” Following this report, Activision issued a statement on the matter to Polygon.

It has not been clarified what exactly the change means for the GWA, the union recently formed by members of Raven Software’s QA team. Some people are already calling the move a disguised union-busting attempt, as it could undercut some of the foundation of that union.

Last week, Raven Software’s QA team announced their union, Game Workers Alliance, and requested official recognition from parent company Activision Blizzard. That recognition has still not been granted, and the entire situation may have just gotten a bit more complicated. We’ll be sure to update this article with any potential updates to the story.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 25, 2022 9:55 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Raven Software restructures QA team amid unionization move

    • reply
      January 25, 2022 10:00 AM

      Integrating QA with development is always a great idea, and the projects I worked on where that was the case definitely turned out better overall, but this just seems like a blatant attempt by Raven to try to make the issue disappear.

    • reply
      January 25, 2022 10:06 AM

      Raven Software have been around for 32 years, have done some fantastic work over those 32 years, and I am interested to see how unionization works for them. They aren't the first NA developer to unionize but certainly the highest profile developer and I expect it to have far more positives from it than negatives.

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