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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer The-Shan's Avatar
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    Blizzard Workers Share Salaries in Revolt Over Wage Disparities

    That's a big yikes. These people deserve better, especially from a company so successful. Blizzard has often exploited peoples passion for their franchises, but this is pretty horrible.

    Article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ge-disparities

    Employees at Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., began circulating a spreadsheet on Friday to anonymously share salaries and recent pay increases, the latest example of rising tension in the video game industry over wage disparities and executive compensation.

    Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, makes popular games including Diablo and World of Warcraft. In 2019, after an internal survey revealed that more than half of Blizzard workers were unhappy with their compensation, the company told staff it would perform a study to ensure fair pay, according to people familiar with the situation. Blizzard implemented the results of that study last month, which led to an outcry on the company’s internal Slack messaging boards.

    One employee then created a spreadsheet and encouraged staff to share their compensation information. The anonymous document, reviewed by Bloomberg News, contains dozens of purported Blizzard salaries and pay bumps. Most of the raises are below 10%, significantly less than Blizzard employees said they expected following the study.

    “Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively,” Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor said. “We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees.”

    This year, Blizzard top performers received a salary increase that was 20% more than in prior years, and more people got promotions, Taylor added. “Our overall salary investment is consistent with prior years,” she also said.

    Wage disparity has become a hot-button issue in the $150 billion video game industry as calls for unionization grow. A pro-labor group recently slammed Activision Blizzard for the pay of Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick. His 2019 compensation was worth $40 million at the end of that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the package has grown since then as the company’s stock has soared. Last year, the company also paid $15 million in stock awards and sign-on bonus to incoming Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin. In the anonymous spreadsheet, one employee listed the CEO’s annual salary, bonus and stock award.

    Read more: Activision’s Executive Hires Greeted With $40 Million Welcome Package

    In internal messages reviewed by Bloomberg News, Blizzard employees said they were struggling to make ends meet while watching Activision Blizzard revenue grow year after year. Some producers and engineers at Blizzard can make well over $100,000 a year, but others, such as video game testers and customer-service representatives, are often paid minimum wage or close to it.


    Blizzard Entertainment has traditionally remained autonomous from its parent company, but in recent years, Activision’s corporate office has pushed the game-development studio to cut costs. Last year, the company eliminated hundreds of jobs and asked some of the remaining staff to take on the responsibilities of those who were let go. That extra work did not come with more pay, according to the people familiar with the company, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive private information.

    One veteran Blizzard employee told Bloomberg News they received a raise of less than 50 cents an hour. They are making less now than they did almost a decade ago because they are working fewer overtime hours than they did back then. Several former Blizzard employees said they only received significant pay increases after leaving for other companies, such as nearby rival Riot Games Inc. in Los Angeles.

    In 2018 messages on internal Blizzard communication channels reviewed by Bloomberg News, employees talked about money-saving measures they’ve taken to remain with the company. One employee wrote that they had to skip meals to pay rent and that they used the company’s free coffee as an appetite suppressant. Another said they would only eat oatmeal and bail on team lunches because they couldn’t afford to buy food at the company cafeteria. A third said they and their partner stopped talking about having kids because they knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it. That contrasted with pictures they saw of more senior Blizzard employees enjoying vacations to Disneyland with their families.

    — With assistance by Anders Melin
    Last edited by The-Shan; 2020-08-04 at 03:19 AM.
    thinly veiled high elf thread

  2. #2
    Sounds like every place nowadays sadly...

  3. #3
    Sounds like business as usual in America.
    Scheduled weekly maintenance caught me by surprise.

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer The-Shan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamthedevil View Post
    Sounds like every place nowadays sadly...
    Blizzard pays significantly less than competitors, that's part of the problem.
    thinly veiled high elf thread

  5. #5
    It's Activision. I'm not sure why anyone is surprised.

  6. #6
    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...0we%20examined.)

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...workers%20made.

    Yea..this is typical for corporations in the USA. There aren't policies such as maximum wage (Scandanavia) or 40% of the board of directors being made up of workers (Germany). Soo...until there are sweeping changes in those policies...which won't come from politicians unless they're on barely on the left when it comes to international standards (Bernie). Then all workers will continue to suffer a lower quality of life. Things will be implemented like UBI that will be band-aid fixes. Though the overall problem of a select few raking in all the dough will be there to last. Those employees' best bet is to calculate how much they're truly making while adding on benefits (Parental leave, healthcare, dental, vacation, paid time off, etc) and leave the country as there are few companies that grant equal quality of lives as European ones. You pay more in taxes and make less, yes. But your benefits and possibilities of living a happy life are increased by an innumerable amount. I feel sorry for anybody who's stuck in the USA, including myself. As people are too caught up in 'lifestyles' that do not have any lasting effects other than to make somebody money and pretend as if they are part of the lower class of 'rich.' Ignoring people who have had a worse lot in life due to psychological issues, neurological issues, lack-of-luck (no-inheritance or trust fund), etc. And saying that it is their fault and should suffer for this is tantamount to the animalistic behavior of our ancestors.
    Last edited by CcB; 2020-08-04 at 03:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by iamthedevil View Post
    Sounds like every place nowadays sadly...
    not rly,plenty of CEO's have cut their own benefits and salaries to keep empleyees

  8. #8
    Master of the Void The Dark One's Avatar
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    I mean, you could replace Blizzard with almost any corporate entity, and the article would still ring true.

    Do I think this has an impact on the quality of Blizzard titles - You bet'cha - Unhappy employees make poor games.
    Fundamental civil rights are only "political" if you're trying to take them away from people.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by deenman View Post
    not rly,plenty of CEO's have cut their own benefits and salaries to keep empleyees
    I'm going to take a crazy guess here and say it's more likely for people to be paid unevenly for the same job than for CEOs to cut their own wages and that's even with coronavirus going on.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Shan View Post
    Blizzard pays significantly less than competitors, that's part of the problem.
    Yep, multiple parts to the problem.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by The-Shan View Post
    Blizzard pays significantly less than competitors, that's part of the problem.
    Then why do people choose to work there? If they are being paid less, wouldn't they simply move to a better paying company? This would be a benefit to them and also force blizz to increase pay or risk losing valuable employees.

    This is what boggles my mind about people howling about compensation at any level: Companies do not want to pay employees any more than they have to. This is countered by employees wanting as much as they can get. The company does have a hard cap, however, which is true for every employee from the CEO on down. You cannot be paid more than the value you produce otherwise you are no longer an assets to the company. If my employment generates $8 of revenue an hour and the company pays me $10 per hour, they will lose money and I will either be fired or never hired to begin with. The actual value of your labor is dependent of the supply (how many people can and are willing to do the job) and the demand for your services.

    This is as true for the CEO as for the janitor. A company does not want to pay millions for a CEO. If they could hire a janitor to do the CEOs job for a fraction of the pay, they sure as hell would do so. The fact that they do pay such salaries/bonuses indicates that they believe the cost (the salary/bonuses) is out weighed by the value (generated revenue) the CEO brings to the company. They could be very wrong, but the market should even out for every level of employment.
    Last edited by Khelek; 2020-08-04 at 04:02 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Khelek View Post
    Then why do people choose to work there? If they are being paid less, wouldn't they simply move to a better paying company? This would be a benefit to them and also force blizz to increase pay or risk losing valuable employees.

    This is what boggles my mind about people howling about compensation at any level: Companies do not want to pay employees any more than they have to. This is countered by employees wanting as much as they can get. The company does have a hard cap, however, which is true for every employee from the CEO on down. You cannot be paid more than the value you produce otherwise you are no longer an assets to the company. If my employment generates $8 of revenue an hour and the company pays me $10 per hour, they will lose money and I will either be fired or never hired to begin with. The actual value of your labor is dependent of the supply (how many people can and are willing to do the job) and the demand for your services.

    This is as true for the CEO as for the janitor. A company does not want to pay millions for a CEO. If they could hire a janitor to do the CEOs job for a fraction of the pay, they sure as hell would do so. The fact that they do pay such salaries/bonuses indicates that they believe the cost (the salary/bonuses) is out weighed by the value (generated revenue) the CEO brings to the company. They could be very wrong, but the market should even out for every level of employment.
    Ah, yes. The CEO does 800% of the worker's job a year. /s

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by CcB View Post
    Ah, yes. The CEO does 800% of the worker's job a year. /s
    For some people is really just easier to believe the CEO must be worth "800%" more than the laborers than to realize the system itself is messed up. Higher echelons benefit from inflated salaries in upper management, why would a CEO choose to work on a company that actually payed what the job is worth instead of going for one of the ones that inflate the value of those positions?

    Surprise, it's all a scam. People on the higher positions just keep inflating their salaries to accrue more wealth, and of course it works, because everyone wants to get a payday when they reach the top. It's a hilariously broken system, but that's just unregulated capitalism for you.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CcB View Post
    Ah, yes. The CEO does 800% of the worker's job a year. /s
    I'm not saying that at all. It is the market that determines value. Do you think companies want to pay their CEOs that much?

  14. #14
    I am all for these people getting better wages. I do wonder how many of the people that are going to get upset over and article like this will also flip their lid at the suggestion of say subscription prices or game costs going up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Khelek View Post
    I'm not saying that at all. It is the market that determines value. Do you think companies want to pay their CEOs that much?
    Not too long ago they didn't in my lifetime the wages for the top employees has sky rocketed while the bulk of the workforce has seen little pay growth. Be it golden parachutes, absurd perks and bonuses or people at the top controlling their own paydays.
    "Privilege is invisible to those who have it."

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Khelek View Post
    I'm not saying that at all. It is the market that determines value. Do you think companies want to pay their CEOs that much?
    CEO compensation is usually set by the Board of Directors. Executive compensation in general over the past few decades has also increasingly trended toward stock options as compensation.
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    -H.L. Mencken, 1920

  16. #16
    The Insane Daemos daemonium's Avatar
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    A raise is a raise so it seems odd to get upset because you wanted more.

    But if blizzard isn’t cutting it people should move to other company’s that pay more or unionize to force pay increases.

    Hopefully the spread sheet it self will be posted at some post so what people actually earn can be seen.

  17. #17
    Are we supposed to be outraged a programmer makes more then a customer service rep or a play tester.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Alvito View Post
    people at the top controlling their own paydays.
    Hmmmm, who sits on the boards that determine CEO compensation?
    "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    -H.L. Mencken, 1920

  19. #19
    I don't really understand why anyone would want to work for a triple A firm or would even really want to get into the gaming industry. If you're a talented programmer/analyst, you can get into an analytics firm or something and get a six-figure salary without any trouble.
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvito View Post
    I am all for these people getting better wages. I do wonder how many of the people that are going to get upset over and article like this will also flip their lid at the suggestion of say subscription prices or game costs going up.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Not too long ago they didn't in my lifetime the wages for the top employees has sky rocketed while the bulk of the workforce has seen little pay growth. Be it golden parachutes, absurd perks and bonuses or people at the top controlling their own paydays.

    Should they? I think the problem is the distribution right now is obscenely unequal.

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