For the longest time, Blizzard was a company beloved by fans. You could even say that the company was an icon in the video game industry, as it produced titles that left an impression on the hearts of many and even hosted conventions where fans could gather and celebrate its works.
Even now, there are dedicated fans who are patiently waiting for the release or at least rumors of Overwatch 2. However, the last few years haven’t been good to Blizzard, in fact, it’s safe to say that its popularity has continued to dwindle.
For one thing, Blizzard was acquired by Activision, which is another company that has a reputation that’s not all that great in the video game community. Blizzard’s philosophy used to ensure that the games they delivered were of good quality, albeit they were released at a slow pace. However, this was no longer the case after the acquisition.
Since then, Blizzard has made some pretty poor judgments that didn’t help in bringing back their fans’ trust. Now recently, it appears that the company has made a very serious decision that has gotten a lot of people heated.
In a recent announcement, Blizzard made the decision to shut down its Versailles office. According to the employees, the decision was revealed after the company kept on denying that they planned to close the office at all.
The original plan was that Blizzard would transfer the laid-off employees to its London office, however, this was abandoned due to complications caused not only by the coronavirus pandemic but by Brexit as well.
As such, the future of these workers is now uncertain, especially since the job market is not doing too well these days given the fact that we’re in a global pandemic. However, it appears that Blizzard’s decision has been opposed by the masses, as three Blizzard workers’ unions have called for a strike against the company at least until they change their decision.
Blizz want to close their Versailles office and put lots of brilliant people out of work.
Their union is recommending they strike tomorrow.
It is prepatch day, this hurts but I have never broken a picket line and I never will.
So I will not be playing or streaming WoW tomorrow pic.twitter.com/2xv9bojyOJ
— Taliesin & Evitel (@TaliesinEvitel) October 13, 2020
The decision has been deemed unbelievable especially considering the global situation we’re in. In addition to that, the three unions shoot down the idea that the reason for the cutback is COVID-19.
According to them, this isn’t Blizzard’s first time trying to lay off employees from the office. In fact, the company has attempted twice and lost in court both times. The union also reports that the working conditions in the Versailles office were significantly lowered following Blizzard’s loss in court. There is speculation that the most likely reason for the office’s closure is that Blizzard wants to avoid European taxes.
Many fans of Blizzard games and even companies have decided to stand behind the unions, among which are other French tech companies. As a matter of fact, there have been massive gatherings in World of Warcraft in-game, while #KeepVersaillesOpen has started to become trending on Twitter.
Por nuestros compañeros de Versailles!
Sentada junto a @WowChakra #KeepVersaillesOpen @BlizzardCSEU_ES @Warcraft_ES @Warcraft @Blizzard_Ent pic.twitter.com/3DbrTCEVUD
— ℜuthless (@RuthSaurfang) October 14, 2020
Right now, we have yet to see what the future holds for those employees at the Versailles office. Unionization and strikes aren’t common in the video game industry, as such, we’re intrigued to see how this one ends.
Other fans have been calling for the boycott of Blizzard and its games, but we’re not sure how many will commit to it given the fact that the Shadowlands expansion for World of Warcraft will be released soon.