Activision’s Union, Comprising 600 Members, Becomes the Largest in the Video Game Industry

So, have you heard the latest buzz in the video game industry? It’s all about the power of unity – and I’m not just talking about the game engine. Microsoft’s video game subsidiaries have been seeing a growing trend of unionized workers, and you won’t believe the size of the latest addition. Picture this: around 600 quality assurance workers at Activision have decided to band together and join the Communications Workers of America (CWA), making them the heavyweight champions of the US video game industry’s union scene. And guess what? They’re the first from Activision to organize under a sweet deal between Microsoft and the CWA. Remember when Microsoft promised to play nice during its $68.7 billion dance to acquire video game developer Activision Blizzard, by agreeing to let workers freely choose to unionize? Well, they kept their word.

CWA President, Claude Cummings Jr., couldn’t help but tip his hat to Microsoft for sticking to their promise, ensuring a neutral stance during the union campaign and keeping their mitts off the voting process. Want to hear something cooler? The employees didn’t even need to jump through the hoops of the National Labor Relations Board to vote. Nope, they could simply sign a union authorization card or click away to vote online. Talk about convenience! According to The New York Times, 390 workers voted a resounding “yes” to the union, with only 8 opting out. And well, about 200 folks seemed to have sat this one out.

Earlier in 2023, Microsoft also gave a nod to a union with 300 workers from Zenimax, the proud parent of Bethesda and another feather in the company’s gaming cap. Back then, that was the big kahuna of video game industry unions. These workers also embraced the simpler, company-agreed process for unionizing with CWA. To top off the year, Microsoft decided to bring onboard 77 temporary QA contractors as full-fledged, unionized Zenimax employees. This move was a breath of fresh air, especially when layoffs seem to be more common than DLCs in the industry.

In a nutshell, it’s turning out to be quite the rollercoaster ride in the video game sector, with Microsoft leading the charge towards a more united workforce. Could this be the start of a new level in how big tech companies and employees play the game together? Only time will tell, but for now, let’s game on and keep an eye on this fascinating union saga.

Originally spotted on Engadget, this tale of unity and video games is one for the digital age books. Check out their piece for all the pixelated details!

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