Bloomberg Businessweek

Second-Class E-Citizens

As Christmas 2018 approached, workers at Activision Blizzard Inc. were busy doing what they always do—writing code, modeling characters, and designing landscapes for the next Call of Duty games. At the company’s campus in Santa Monica, Calif., everyone got hand-delivered invitations to the annual holiday bash, where staff could drink, unwind, and celebrate the year. Some recipients, though, were soon told they’d received the invitations by mistake and wouldn’t be welcome at the party, according to three people familiar with the incident. The reason: They were temporary contractors officially employed by a staffing agency, Volt Workforce Solutions.

That treatment isn’t unusual in the gaming industry. While executives rake in millions of dollars

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