CEO Paid $40 Million While Struggling Workers Skipped Meals To Make Rent

Video game workers are fed up with out of control executive pay while they struggle to survive.

Business Insider reports:

“With some of the most popular, best-selling video game franchises in the world, Activision and its subsidiary, Blizzard Entertainment, are money-making powerhouses.

But some employees at Blizzard — the studio responsible for hits like ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Overwatch,’ and the upcoming ‘Diablo 4’ — said they were paid so poorly that they used free office coffee as an appetite suppressant, skipped meals in the employee cafeteria, and, in one case, chose not to have kids due to an inability to afford them.

Blizzard employees recently circulated a salary document that highlighted vast disparities in the company, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday morning.

The biggest standout in that spreadsheet came from Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who took home around $40 million in 2019.”

Fed-up employees have begun to revolt, organizing their efforts for change in an industry with little to no union presence.

Bloomberg reports:

“Hundreds of employees at Blizzard Entertainment, the video game developer behind Diablo and Overwatch, are using the company’s Slack network to organize a list of workplace requests, including fair pay and increased sick time. Results of the effort, a rare example of labor organizing in the video game industry, are expected to be presented to management as early as this week, people familiar with the initiative said.

A draft version of the list, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News, asks for changes to how promotions are doled out, increased vacation time and pay bumps for members of the customer service and quality assurance departments. The list was compiled and discussed in a communication channel on Blizzard’s Slack with more than 870 members.”

For more on this story, visit Bloomberg here.

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