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Activision employees win unionization vote - First major union in US video game industry

Activision-owned Raven Software employees won a landslide vote on unionization that could completely shake up the US video games industry.
Activision employees win unionization vote - First major union in US video game industry

Raven Software (owned by Activision) employees who regulate quality assurance on Call of Duty Warzone voted Monday in favor of forming a union. Back in April, almost 30 individuals mailed ballots to the National Labor Relations Board which led to an official count on Monday.

Nineteen of the workers voted in favor of unionization, with only three votes against the formation of the union. The group will be titled Game Workers Alliance and will move into contract negotiations with Activision Blizzard shortly. Though it should be noted that  Microsoft still plans to acquire the Activision label as part of a $68.7 billion deal. Here's what everyone is saying about the monumental vote.

Activision's recent legal troubles and lawsuit

Activision Blizzard Lawsuit
Activision Blizzard has found themselves in hot water recently as sexual misconduct has been alleged. (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

Back in July of 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing officially filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit alleged that Activision Blizzard allowed, and at times encouraged sexual misconduct towards some of their female employees.

Activision has since been accused of maintaining a "frat boy" culture, and that the company's hiring and employment practices were discriminatory against women. The events led to a staff walkout after it was also alleged that Activision was shredding documents related to the case. All of the trouble resulted in rumors of Activision employees attempting to unionize to protect themselves, and it looks like now that they've taken the next step.

Activision union first of its kind in US Video Game industry

Warzone Activision union
The votes are in and Activision employees have decided to unionize. (Picture: Raven Software / Infinity Ward)

Nearly 30 game testers at Raven Software (owned by Activision) voted in favor of unionization, with only three going against the proposal for a union. Word got out once Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier tweeted out the vote count, and to this point, it seems the public is in agreement with the vote to unionize.

Becka Aigner, a Raven Software quality assurance tester, told the Washington Post: “The outcome of this election, the voice of the people coming together to vote yes for this union, is further validation that even a small group of folks in Madison Wisconsin standing together in solidarity can face up against a AAA studio giant like Activision, and come out the other side victorious.

Now that the fight for recognition is through, we can focus our efforts on negotiations. We’ll fight for respect, fight for better wages, better benefits, better work-life balance, fight for sustainability and job security, and continue to fight for our fellow workers in solidarity.”

The union will be the first of its kind in a major capacity within the US gaming industry, a truly historic moment for the game developers.

For more coverage of major breaking news in the world of gaming and esports, make sure to stay tuned with our dedicated Video Games tab.


Featured image courtesy of Activision / Raven Software.