Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier is looking into wage disparity at Blizzard Entertainment. While some employees barely make ends meet and have to skip meals, executives receive millions in compensation.
n 2019, Blizzard conducted an internal survey that showed that over half of staff were unhappy with their compensation. The company only reacted in July 2020, and salaries were raised. Just not as much as the employees expected.
One employee created a spreadsheet for other staff to anonymously report their salaries and the pay raises. It turned out that the majority had an increase of under 10%, which is significantly below expectations. One of the studio veterans said their raise was less than 50 cents an hour.
As noted by Bloomberg, before the increase, some of the employees, like testers and customer-service representatives, were paid minimum wages despite the consistent growth of the company’s revenue.
In 2018, some workers even has to skip meals to be able to make rent. Another employee said they stopped thinking about having children because they could not provide for them. The pay raises haven’t changed the situation.
At the same time, the representative of the company Jessica Taylor said that the top performers received an increase which is 20% more than in previous years, and more workers than ever got promoted.
Some producers and engineers do make over $100,000 a year at Activision Blizzard, with the company CEO Bobby Kotick famously getting $40 million in compensation last year.
Others, according to Schreier, were only able to get significant pay increases after leaving for competitors like Riot Games. Still others, those who stayed, had to take extra work following last year’s multiple layoffs. They had to do so without additional compensation.
Wage disparity, according to Bloomberg, plagues the entire industry and will apparently continue to do so until unionization takes place.