Raven Software QA workers form union, call for Activision Blizzard recognition


The QA testers are calling on Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the union

Quality assurance (QA) workers at Raven Software have formed a union. The group, which has been holding a strike since December over sudden layoffs of its team members, is now calling for parent company Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the union.

The union at Raven Software, Game Workers Alliance, is unionizing with the Communication Workers of America. A CWA representative told Polygon that the union has the support of 78% of eligible workers. In statements, both Raven employees and CWA reps call for voluntary recognition.

We aim to work together with leadership to create a healthy and prosperous work environment for all people, to develop successful and sustainable products, and to support the enjoyment of our players. (8/8)

— Game Workers Alliance ?#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) January 21, 2022

Raven Software QA workers have been on strike for weeks now, in response to layoffs affecting the QA department in December. It was one situation on a pile of issues at Activision Blizzard, as it was already under scrutiny for other allegations of workplace issues and the California DFEH lawsuit.

Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard earlier this week for $68.7 billion. Once the deal is finalized, Activision Blizzard employees will report up the chain to Xbox’s Phil Spencer. Currently, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is still at the head of the company.

We’ve reached out to both Activision Blizzard and Xbox for comment on the news.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company is “carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA.”

Unionization efforts in the games industry have been steadily increasing. As the Raven work stoppage commenced, there were reports of union authorization cards getting handed out. Last month, Vodeo Games officially recognized its studio employee’s unionization.

This could be another big step in unionization efforts within the industry. And with all eyes on Activision Blizzard right now, whatever happens will certainly have some ripple effect throughout the broader space.