Activision Blizzard Inc. workers who work in the video game industry in Boston announced on Tuesday that they are unionizing with the Communications Workers of America.
According to a statement, the designers, animators, engineers, producers, and quality assurance staff are among the 57 members of the Proletariat unit that filed for union representation. If successful, it would be the first gaming union at Activision to include non-QA employees who test video games for bugs and performance and are often seen to be paid too little in the industry.
Activision, located in Irvine, California, bought Proletariat and its 100 employees in June 2022 to support its World of Warcraft brand. This is Activision’s third attempt to create a union this year. In January and December, employees at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany first did so.
“Earlier this year, when we heard that Blizzard was planning to acquire Proletariat, we started to discuss how we could protect the great culture we have created here,” Proletariat software engineer Dustin Yost said in an email. “By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can ensure that we can continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development.”
Activision cherishes “the contributions the talented Proletariat team has made since joining our business this summer,” a spokeswoman for the firm stated. The National Labor Relations Board will get a formal public response from us when we receive the petition in the next few days.
Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard
Microsoft Corp. is acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, and the company has stated that it would not support any unionization efforts by game developers. The first union at Microsoft was formed by quality assurance staff at its ZeniMax Studios earlier this month. At the time, a Microsoft representative stated the project was “an illustration of our labor beliefs in action. We are still dedicated to allowing workers to freely and fairly decide on their workplace representation.
Microsoft has reacted to the complaint filed by the US Federal Trade Commission about its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, which produces the Call of Duty video game brand. Microsoft stated in its application with the regulatory body that it is acquiring Activision to increase its competitiveness in this rapidly developing international market.
According to its filing, Microsoft is purchasing Activision to reach the billions of gamers who prefer to play on mobile devices over consoles or computers and to learn how to create games that would entice and engage them. Xbox also aims to increase the accessibility of Activision’s non-mobile games. The continuation of Activision’s game distribution across all platforms and expansion