Blizzard staff anonymously share their pay info in a fight against wage disparity

Technology

Blizzard employees have anonymously disclosed their pay and salary increases to each other in a bid to clarify the scale of pay boosts awarded in the wake of an internal fair pay study undertaken by Activision.

An anonymised spreadsheet circulated amongst developers confirmed staff had received lower pay rises than anticipated. As reported by Bloomberg, the survey intimated that most staff received increases of below 10 per cent, which was “significantly less than most people expected”.

The revelation has reportedly further fuelled resentment at the growing disparity between developer pay and that of senior executives, especially as many employees have seen their duties increase without corresponding boosts in pay after the company axed hundreds of jobs last year.

Bloomberg further reports that Blizzard employees “were struggling to make ends meet while watching Activision Blizzard revenue grow year after year” and that in correspondence shared via internal Blizzard communication channels in 2018, employees talked about sacrifices they’ve had to make in order 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,” Bloomberg reports. “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.”

“Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively,” Activision Blizzard spokesperson Jessica Taylor told Bloomberg. “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.”

“Our overall salary investment is consistent with prior years,” Taylor added.