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QA workers at Activision Blizzard call for an end to bug quotas

QA staff at Activision Blizzard's Texas and Minnesota offices want to stop being required to hit inconsistent quotas and more transparency from management.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 8, 2022

2 Min Read
Logo for game publisher Activision Blizzard.

QA workers at Activision Blizzard have called for an end to Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) for bug quotas. In their statement and subsequent Twitter thread, the workers at the Call of Duty publisher's Minnesota and Texas offices write that these PIPs have done "serious harm" to employees' mental health. 

Bug quotas, according to the employees, are exclusive to the QA staff at Activision, meaning workers at similar departments for subsidiaries such as Blizzard or King don't abide by them. The staff claims that the metrics for these mandatory quotas are vague and "widely considered a bad practice," as they reportedly don't properly reflect the various work QA does.

The requests made by QA staff comes in the wake of Blizzard Albany's QA staff successfully unionizing after a prolonged battle with Activision Blizzard. That appears to have lit a fire under other QA workers, as shortly after, ZeniMax Studios' own QA team announced its intention to unionize. 

Among the changes demanded by Activision's QA workers are having a second coworker present when an employee has to present proof they've met job expectations (chosen specifically by the employee), and a commitment that PIPs will instead be used to help employees grow rather than used as grounds for sudden termination.

The statement provided by the QA workers further adds that a lack of communication between management and employees shows there is a "clear systemic problem that demands immediate change informed by directly by the needs and input of QA employees."

"Progressive discipline and transparent communication allows for accountability both from management and employees while improving the quality of our games."

Additionally, the QA staff have called for more transparent communication from management, that managers be required to undergo training for "progressive discipline," and ending the practice of inconsistently requiring employees to meet bug quotas. 

At time of writing, Activision Blizzard has yet to respond to the request of its affected QA workers. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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