Nobody is able to make poor decisions quite like Activision-Blizzard these days, with Blizzard Entertainment specifically in the news this time for some announcements made to employees that didn't go over very well.
According to GameDeveloper.com, Blizzard President Mike Ybarra held a company-wide Q&A session yesterday in which they announced two unpopular policies amongst employees and took some pre-screened questions from the staff.
The first announcement was that employees would be returning to the office, including those who had been hired for remote work. Ybarra went on to defend the "stack ranking" system used to evaluate employees in which managers were asked to give out a certain number of low rankings, whether they were deserved or not... a system that led to one manager leaving the company in protest.
Then, despite Blizzard's success and Activision once again proclaiming strong fiscal year performance, it was announced that all employees would only be receiving 58% of their yearly profit-sharing bonus for 2022.
Game Developer then goes on to say that Ybarra made bizarre comparisons between the pay of executives and that of other dev employees. According to their sources, Ybarra said something to the effect of: "If you think that executives are making a lot of money and you aren't, you're living in a myth."
The meeting took place in a Zoom call in which employees could not speak or respond other than with emojis, but the backlash from employees still made its way to Twitter and Slack as the unpopular announcements continued to roll out.
A Blizzard spokesperson later reached out to Game Developer and said, "Blizzard stands by each of these statements and we're proud of Mike's leadership in tough moments."
About the Author
Troy “Noobfridge” Blackburn has been reporting on the video game industry for over a decade. Whether it’s news, editorials, gameplay videos, or streams, Noobfridge never fails to present his honest opinion whether those hot takes prove to be popular or not.
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