While some seem to be optimistic since the announcement that Microsoft are acquiring Activision Blizzard, current employees of Activision Blizzard and their subsidiaries are moving forward with plans that started prior to the announcement. One of these is a group called the Game Workers Alliance, who are made up of Raven Software employees, have officially asked Activision Blizzard to recognize the union.
This group is led by members of Raven Software’s Quality Assurance team who have been on strike for over a month now after Activision Blizzard announce they would be releasing 12 QA workers, or 30% of the division, from their contracts effective Janaury 28, 2022. What made everyone extremely suspicious is that many of these employees within the division work on Warzone which was earning around $5.2 million per day at the time of this announcement.
The Game Workers Alliance have noted their principles as being the following:
-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.
-Sustainability: Shortened development timelines sacrifice project quality and damage the mental and physical health of our team. “Crunch” is not healthy for any product, worker, or company. Realistic timelines and development plans are essential to achieving sustainability in the games industry.
-Transparency: Leadership must communicate openly and frequently about any decisions that will affect the working life of their employees.Work and quality of life suffer when changes are unpredictable and explanations are withheld.
-Equity: Quality Assurance Testers deserve respect, appropriate compensation, and career development opportunities. Quality Assurance is currently an undervalued discipline in the games and software industries. We strive to foster work environments where Quality Assurance Testers are respected and compensated for our essential role in the development process.
-Diversity: All voices deserve to be heard. Empowering underrepresented voices is key to fostering a truly creative and successful work environment. We ask that Raven Software and Activision leadership voluntarily recognize our union and respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference. 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.