An action taken by 28 employees within one division of a gaming studio is turning heads across the entire industry.
Quality assurance testers within Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, voted 19-3 to unionize. The move is a first for a major U.S. video game company.
Raven develops the “Call of Duty” franchise, a key revenue driver for Activision Blizzard.
- The workers initially sought to unionize in January, following layoffs the previous month.
- Activision Blizzard refused to recognize the union at that time.
- Following the vote, the group will join the Communications Workers of America.
Microsoft has agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, pending regulatory approval. The tech giant has focused its gaming efforts on its Xbox console series, but is looking to Activision Blizzard to build out its mobile portfolio.
The National Labor Relations Board found that Activision Blizzard illegally threatened staff and enforced a social media policy that infringed on employees’ rights around collective action, the agency said on Monday.
The issue was initially brought forth by the Communications Workers of America.
The company will either settle with the NLRB, or the agency’s Los Angeles-based regional director will issue a complaint.