As someone who worked in the gaming industry, I have to say that not everything is peachy like people from the outside believe. Being a fan of the biz can take you as far as to say you love the job you do, but it’s not enough to keep you inspired and motivated in the end.
And now, there is video circling around made by YouTuber Jeremy Hambly at TheQuartering which caused a lot of controversy and quite the reaction of the community claiming that even a giant like Blizzard doesn’t treat its employees with hefty bonuses and huge salaries. If anything else, the alleged sources from the company say that salaries of those who are not executives or managers are so low that they can’t pay rent, eat lunch at work or start a family. TheQuartering says he got his information from disgruntled Blizzard employees who asked to stay anonymous after the video he made as a breakdown of David Brevik’s rant about new Blizzard management which went viral.
Brevik, co-founder and former president of Blizzard North caused quite a stir with his ranting on “Path of Exile” a Twitch stream of his wife. This, of course, caught the eye of the gaming community and many started worrying about the fate of the Blizzard and consequently its games. Ever since Blizzard announced Diablo: Immortal at BlizzCon this year, fans showed their disappointment with new company’s direction. Although developing mobile games seems to be the focus of many major gaming companies now, fans were not thrilled that instead of Diablo IV, the mobile gamers will get Diablo: Immortal.
And now, with Brevik statements that Activision will completely take over Blizzard and that recent changes to annual bonus program have left low-level employees without a decent pay.
“‘Overwatch’ isn’t ‘Fortnite.’ Why have you wronged us? Okay, we’re going to get rid of the profit-sharing program. We don’t like this,” ranted Brevik in October 5 video. “We don’t like the fact that low-level employees make decent money at Blizzard. We’re gonna get rid of this program because we need more profits to increase our stock price, and improve our shareholders and the elite 1% of the company.”
This is somewhat supported by the supposed testimonials by Blizzard employees which TheQuartering speaks about in his video. However, TheQuartering didn’t show any proof or name his sources, so that could basically be anyone with an e-mail talking. And let’s not forget that Jeremy Hambly had his own share of issues with the gaming community. Namely, Magic the Gathering cosplayer Christine Sprankle left the community due to cyberbullying and harassment by Hambly and subscribers of his TheQuartering YouTube channel. As reported by Polygon, Hambly posted degrading videos about Sprankle and other cosplayers and one video were taken down by YouTube for promoting harassment and bullying. Many prominent personalities of the community have reacted to this and condemned Hambly’s behavior. While Hambly, on the other hand, called the whole situation a “false narrative” and said that he is the harassed party. Whatever may be the case, the gaming community wasn’t quick to jump on the news reported by Hambly via TheQuartering and Brevik’s wife didn’t nod her head at everything he said in those ranting videos. What more, after Brevik said that Activision will take over Blizzard completely, his wife interjected with “We don’t know if that’s the case.” Certainly, the fact that Brevik was drunk which he told his wife in the stream doesn’t look good when it comes to his credibility.
Later, Brevik told Newsweek that he was only speculating out loud. “I was just speculating that this is a possible scenario,” explained Brevik to Newsweek. “I have no inside information…. I don’t know if I even believe it, it was just a hypothetical scenario. Sounds a bit like I had a long day and a few drinks at that point in the stream,” Brevik added. “It was probably my bedtime.”
For now, there are no comments from Blizzard about anything that was said in the past several weeks. Neither by TheQuartering nor Brevik and the community doesn’t seem too surprised by this information as well. Fans are still upset with how Blizzard plans to handle its future projects and it seems they don’t intend to forgive the Diablo: Immortal just yet.