Updated at 10:10 a.m. PT: According to a Bloomberg report, Activision stated that it's "carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA, which seeks to organize around three dozen of the company’s nearly 10,000 employees." The rest of the story remains as it was originally published.
Raven Software, developer of Call of Duty: Warzone, has been embattled with parent company Activision Blizzard following the decision to deny contracts for several members of its QA team. Many QA testers have been on strike since December, protesting for their voices to be heard. Now, Raven Software workers have formed Game Workers Alliance, the first union under Activision Blizzard, and are requesting recognition from the parent company.
Game Workers Alliance announced their unionization with the creation of a new website. Here, the group, which is currently composed of 34 workers, published an open letter to Activision Blizzard leadership.
Our Principles:— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) January 21, 2022
-Solidarity: The voices of workers should be heard by leadership. By uniting in solidarity, we can ensure our message is further reaching, and more effective. (1/8)
The workers go on to cite the December 2021 layoffs, calling the current work environment “untenable.” According to the letters, the 12 employees that were laid off were top performers, and were reassured throughout last year that wage increases were on the way. Breaking the trust of workers is what led to the formation of GWA.
The Game Workers Alliance is entering new territory as the first union in the big budget gaming industry, as reported by Jason Schreier. This of course comes after several months of discussions surrounding workers’ rights at Activision Blizzard and the formation of ABetterABK.
With Microsoft's recent announcement of its Activision Blizzard acquisition, it will be interesting to see if that has any impact on the newly formed union. If Activision Blizzard does recognize GWA, you can expect to see an update to this story. For future updates and to learn more about the Gamer Workers Alliance, be sure to follow their newly created Twitter account.
Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Raven Software QA team forms Game Workers Alliance union