Surprise: They Don’t Get Paid Enough
A little while ago, Activision did an internal study of employees’ wages and pay increases. However, the employees apparently did not the results reflected in their bank accounts. After the internal study, Blizzard employees began to circulate a spreadsheet where they could anonymously fill in their wages for a more transparent look at how much they were really getting paid. The initial survey indicated that employees’ wages were increased by about 10%, but their own spreadsheet revealed that the increase in most cases did not actually approach 10%.
According to Bloomberg, there were many anecdotes of employees having to make many personal sacrifices to make ends meet. Some examples include skipping meals to pay their rent and using Blizzard’s free coffee to suppress their hunger. Other employees and their partners also stopped talking about starting a family and having kids because they could not afford life-changing events like that. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard executives would regularly be able to take trips to Disneyland and other recreational resorts with their families. The anonymous spreadsheet also highlights a disparity between the lackluster pay increases compared to the workload increases employees have faced in the past couple of years.
In 2019, Activision Blizzard laid off hundreds of employees. This left the remaining employees to pick up the slack, but it seems they have not been compensated accordingly. Activision Blizzard’s spokesperson Jessica Taylor says that their salary increases have been consistent with previous years’. Maybe it’s time to break from consistency?
What do you think about wage disparities in game development? Let us know in the comments below.