Over the last several days, Blizzard Entertainment has been criticized heavily on social media by current and former employees for alleged unfair pay and less-than adequate raises after an internal company study.
Following the creation of spreadsheet of employees’ salaries and raies, hundreds of people within the company’s Slack channel began to compile a list of requests for the company to follow, according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. The list includes fair pay, a change in how promotions and bonuses are handled, increased vacation time, and pay bumps for customer service and quality assurance teams.
The wage disparity within Blizzard seems massive, as Bloomberg reported that workers in customer service and quality assurance are paid close to minimum wage (or less than $40,000 a year in Irvine, California.) One veteran employee even said that they were making less than they did 10 years ago because they are working less overtime.
Several employees also said they would routinely skip meals in some form because they needed to pay rent or couldn’t buy food at the company’s cafeteria. Jason Baker, the former lead observer of the Overwatch League, pointed out the cafeteria at Blizzard was a cheaper option to most Los Angeles alternatives, so skipping lunch “means you are really hurting.”
Other former employees confirmed the unfair pay, with many saying they only received increases in salary by leaving to work for other companies, like Riot Games and Amazon Game Studios.
In response, a Blizzard spokesperson said the company will continue to listen to its employees and review the list of requests, including the changes to compensation for workers.
“We will continue to adapt our compensation to build and keep the workforce our company needs today and tomorrow,” Blizzard spokesman Dustin Blackwell said, “We understand that some Blizzard employees have specific requests, and we look forward to hearing from them directly.”
Earlier in the week, Blizzard employees compiled an anonymous spreadsheet to share their compensation from Blizzard, which, according to Bloomberg, showed that most of the recent raises fell significantly lower than most employees were expecting after the study.
Schreier also notes employees were unhappy that the higher-ups at Blizzard did not bring up the internal debates going on during Tuesday’s second-quarter 2020 revenue report with investors. Activision Blizzard reported revenue of 1.93 billion during that period.