Activision Blizzard, in Reversal, Will Recognize Union Representing Raven Software Employees
10th June 2022

Game giant Activision Blizzard said Friday it will commence talks with Communications Workers of America union representatives to negotiate a contract on behalf of 27 quality-assurance employees at Raven Software.

On May 23, the QA team at Wisconsin-based development studio Raven Software successfully formed a CWA-affiliated union called the Game Workers Alliance. The union said at the time, “We look forward to working with management to positively shape our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through a strong union contract.”

On Friday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick wrote in a memo to U.S. employees, “With the [Raven Software union] election having concluded, we will engage in good-faith negotiations to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.”

Activision Blizzard had refused to voluntarily recognize the Raven Software union. Last month, after the employees voted to unionize, company rep had said in a statement, “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,” referring to the number of staffers who voted to unionize.

The reversal comes after Microsoft made a $69 billion bid for Activision Blizzard in January. The companies have said they expect the deal — which would be the biggest-ever acquisition in the video-game business — to close by mid-2023.

Here’s Kotick’s memo to staffers about recognizing the CWA-affiliated union:


I wanted to share the news that we will begin negotiations with the Communications Workers of America related to the 27 quality assurance employees at Raven Software, the majority of whom have chosen to be represented by this union. With the election having concluded, we will engage in good faith negotiations to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.

While first labor contracts can take some time to complete, we will meet CWA leaders at the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that supports the success of all our employees, that further strengthens our commitment to create the industry’s best, most welcoming and inclusive workplace, and enhances our ability to deliver world class games for our players.

We begin this process after major investments in our QA team members over the past couple years, including significantly increasing starting pay for QA specialists and converting over 1,100 U.S.-based temporary and contingent QA workers to full-time positions. This conversion is providing access to comprehensive company benefits for QA employees and their eligible dependents. In addition, we have expanded access to performance bonuses for QA employees and learning and development opportunities. We also have integrated QA more seamlessly into the game development process, increasing collaboration that results in better products for our players and more opportunities for our teams.

This is a time of great opportunity for our company. I want to thank you for the passion, skill, and commitment you bring each day to create great games, to embrace opportunities to make this the industry’s very best place to work, and to connect and engage our players around the world.

With appreciation,


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