Second Activision Blizzard studio plans to unionize

The developer is following in the footsteps of Raven Software.

Employees at a second Activision Blizzard-owned studio have announced plans to unionize.

As reported by Shannon Liao at the Washington Post, the quality assurance team at Blizzard Albany, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, has petitioned for a union election. The team filed a request with the National Labor Relations Board after asking Activision Blizzard management to recognize the union last week. Management received the request but did not say whether it would recognize the union.

Blizzard Albany, formerly known as Vicarious Visions, is best known for the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series along with Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Diablo II: Resurrected. Activision acquired the company in January 2005 and fully merged with Activision Blizzard in April 2022.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George said a formal response and statement to employees’ National Labor Relations Board statement is coming. George did say that Activision Blizzard believes “a direct relationship between the company and its employees is the most productive relationship.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Amanda Laven, associate test analyst at Blizzard Albany, shared that the union formed by quality assurance testers at Raven Software, another Activision Blizzard studio, was a big inspiration for their unionization push

“Seeing their process, it’s been demystifying to see them do it first and have an idea of how things go and how the company might respond… It’s been very, very helpful and inspiring,” Laven said.

Employees at Raven Software voted to create the first major union in game development on May 23.

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