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Activision Blizzard now fully WFH and covering employees' COVID-19 costs

Activision Blizzard now fully WFH and covering employees' COVID-19 costs

May 5, 2020 | By Alex Wawro

As part of its Q1 earnings report today Activision Blizzard confirmed that all of its offices have been working from home since mid-March, and all employees' COVID-19 testing and treatment costs are being covered by the company.

That last bit is notable; while many in the game industry have transitioned to a fully work-from-home business model in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we haven't heard many companies touting full coverage for treatment and testing costs.

Gamasutra has reached out to Activision Blizzard for more information on these efforts, and whether they include part-time and contracted staff. The company has been making a show of pushing back against the impact of COVID-19, specifically citing the pandemic's pall on the job market when donating $2 million this week (through its Call of Duty Endowment)  to help military veterans find jobs.

In an appearance on CNBC last month Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also said that he'd provided his phone number to employees and asked them to contact him directly with any concerns they had about healthcare during the pandemic.

At the time he said that the company was working on a number of fronts to combat the threat of coronavirus, including supporting a clinical drug trial at UCLA and a "number of initiatives focused on convalescent blood transfusions", while also trying to provide employees support via tele-medicine, access to private doctors and childcare services, and remote working arrangements. 

For more insight into how game makers large and small are adapting to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, check out Gamasutra's recent feature on how Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other studios went remote in the face of COVID-19.

Update: Activision Blizzard representatives have told Gamasutra that the company is covering 100 percent of all COVID-related testing and treatment for all workers covered by its health plans. For contractors, part-timers, interns, and other workers not on those health plans, the company is fully subsidizing care provided by partner programs like Wellthy and Heal.

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