Investor Alert

Associated Press Archives | Email alerts

May 23, 2022, 4:22 p.m. EDT

Workers at Activision Blizzard-owned game publisher vote to unionize

Watchlist Relevance

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)
  • X
    Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Videogame workers at a division of game publisher Activision Blizzard have voted to unionize, creating the first labor union at a large U.S. videogame company.

A count of ballots on Monday revealed the results of the election affecting a small group of Wisconsin-based quality assurance testers at Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software, which develops the popular “Call of Duty” game franchise. The tally was 19-3.

The unionization campaign by employees at Raven’s office in Middleton, Wisc., had been part of a broader internal shakeup at Activision Blizzard /zigman2/quotes/200717283/composite ATVI +1.90% , a Santa Monica, Calif.-based gaming giant with roughly 10,000 employees worldwide.

The game publisher — which Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +3.41% is in the process of buying for nearly $69 billion — has been under intense public scrutiny since California’s civil rights agency sued it last year over an alleged “frat boy” culture that discriminated against women. It recently settled a separate federal civil rights lawsuit over allegations that management ignored sexual harassment and workplace discrimination against female employees.

Microsoft has said it wouldn’t interfere in any unionization efforts.

The Milwaukee office of the National Labor Relations Board counted the mailed-in ballots on Monday afternoon via video conference. A regional NLRB director had  ordered a May election  after rejecting Activision’s push to have it encompass a wider category of Raven workers, which could have diluted the unionizing group’s vote.

Activision Blizzard said in a statement Monday that it respected the right of workers to vote on a union but criticized the way those workers were being classified.

“We believe that an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 people should not be made by 19 Raven employees,” the company said.

The unionizing group, which has called itself the Game Workers Alliance, said in a statement Monday that “Activision Blizzard worked tirelessly to undermine our efforts to establish our union, but we persevered.” U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, tweeted her congratulations.

The new union will be represented by the broader Communications Workers of America, which has been stepping up campaigns in the largely non-unionized tech and gaming industries.

US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 77.94
+1.45 +1.90%
Volume: 6.54M
June 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$60.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 267.70
+8.84 +3.41%
Volume: 33.92M
June 24, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$2002.14 billion
Rev. per Employee

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.