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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Former Blizzard Versailles staff have won their legal battle against the company

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Back in 2020, Blizzard closed the doors on its French studio in Versailles, putting around 285 people out of work in the middle of a pandemic. Now, those former employees have won their appeal with French courts against Blizzard.

Reported by French outlet Gamekult (via GamesIndustry.biz), the successful appeal means that employees may be entitled to compensations worth up to six months salary, as the court found Blizzard’s reasoning for the redundancies wasn’t legally justified.

It’s a hollow victory, mind. Blizzard Versailles is still shut, closed over the course of the legal battle, and redundant staff won’t be getting jobs back with the company.

“What this means in concrete terms is that, as soon as the administration validated the [redundancy] plan, the company sent the dismissal letters in the following days,” Mehdi Bouzaida, the lawyer representing the employees, told Gamekult. “In other words, people get dismissed, and a few months later a decision like the one we have today is reached, but the law at that moment won’t force the company to reintegrate the former employees, so only compensations are planned.”

A similar appeal was made against a previous round of layoffs in 2019, a year that saw Blizzard make absurd redundancies in a year is posted record profits. The 2020 redundancies saw unions representing the Versailles workers call for a strike, describing Blizzard’s reasoning as “absurd”.

Activision Blizzard refused to comment to Gamekult. PC Gamer has reached out for a statement.

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