Hundreds of employees at Blizzard Entertainment, the video game developer behind Diablo and Overwatch, are using the company’s Slack network to organize a list of workplace requests, including fair pay and increased sick time. Results of the effort, a rare example of labor organizing in the video game industry, are expected to be presented to management as early as this week, people familiar with the initiative said.
A draft version of the list, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News, asks for changes to how promotions are doled out, increased vacation time and pay bumps for members of the customer service and quality assurance departments. The list was compiled and discussed in a communication channel on Blizzard’s Slack with more than 870 members.
Blizzard, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., said it will review employee feedback and consider changes to pay. “We will continue to adapt our compensation to build and keep the workforce our company needs today and tomorrow,” Dustin Blackwell, a spokesman for Blizzard, wrote in an emailed statement. “We understand that some Blizzard employees have specific requests, and we look forward to hearing from them directly.”
In the employee document reviewed by Bloomberg, workers wrote that some are being paid below $40,000 a year. That’s less than half of the median household income in Irvine, California, where Blizzard’s main campus is based. The dynamics are having an impact on staff retention, according to the document. “Our mentors are leaving in droves,” the employees wrote.