USA: First union formation at video game publisher Activision.

PublishedMay 24, 2022, 00:40

Activision employees voted overwhelmingly to form a union, a first for an American video game publisher.

Activision is about to be acquired by Microsoft. (illustrative image)

Getty Images via AFP

Employees at US video game publisher Activision Blizzard, which distributes flagship games Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, voted overwhelmingly to form a union, the company’s first.

Of the 28 eligible voters, 19 voted in favor and 3 voted against, the polling agency (NLRB) said after counting the votes in Monday’s correspondence. This small quality assurance team at Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision, will be represented by the Communications Workers of America.

Several employees began mobilizing in late 2021, participating in a five-week strike following the layoff of twelve employees. This was the third stoppage taken by employees since a series of allegations of discrimination and harassment of management emerged in July 2021, the union recalls in a press release.


Earlier this year, the staff officially banded together as the Game Workers Alliance (CWA). “We very much hope that our union will inspire the growing movement of workers who are organizing in video game studios to create better games and create jobs that reflect our values ​​and empower us,” the organization emphasized after its victory.

In the video game sector, the CWA has also helped build unions at the Vodeo Games and Paizo studios. Activision, in the process of acquiring Microsoft, acknowledged the results of the vote, reassuring AFP in a message to “respect” the right of employees to vote for the union.

However, the company adds, “We believe that a major decision that affects all 350 Raven Software employees should not be made by 19 Raven employees.” Several large multinationals, including Starbucks, Apple or Amazon, are currently facing a unionization campaign in the United States.


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