While the acquisition could be good news for gamers, all eyes are now on Microsoft to see how they will resolve the fuck ups of Activision Blizzard King’s past.
It’s been made pretty clear that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King is the result of the latter company’s downfall in the past year. There’s some hope that progress will be made, but we would be foolish not to admit the fact that the progress already made is thanks to the grassroots movement of workers from Activision Blizzard King.
The Activision Blizzard King (ABK) Workers Alliance has been leading the way in terms of organising strikes and demands from the company’s employees. After the acquisition announcement, the ABK Workers Alliance made their own statement regarding the situation in a Twitter thread.
The news of Activision’s acquisition by Microsoft is surprising, but does not change the goals of the ABK Workers Alliance.
We remain committed to fighting for workplace improvements and the rights of our employees regardless of who is financially in control of the company.
We will continue to work alongside our allies across the gaming industry to push for measurable change in an industry that desperately needs it. We called for the removal of Bobby Kotick as CEO in November for shielding abusers and he still remains CEO as of this writing.
The strike for Raven QA is in its fifth week, and our striking staff has still not received response from leadership regarding our request to negotiate.
And finally, 3 out of 4 of our original collective demands to improve the conditions of women in our workforce have not been met.
Whatever the leadership structure of the company, we will continue our push to #EndAbuseInGaming, and appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve experienced in the last year.
As mentioned by the ABK Workers Alliance, Raven Software QA is still actively striking, with the team beginning their strike last December after multiple quality testers were let go. According to The Washington Post, they’ve gotten radio silence from Activision Blizzard King despite their strike resulting in uproar from the Call of Duty: Warzone community who have found bugs in the game not being fixed. Instead of responding to employees’ demands, the employees have noted that the company sent out a ‘union-busting’ letter while also asking Minnesota-based workers to work more closely with Raven developers on Warzone which some workers have interpreted as Activision Blizzard King recruiting ‘strikebreakers’.
Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer has stated that the company will make sure it’s new staff “feel safe, supported and engaged in every aspect of their work going forward”. While the acquisition could make the ABK Workers Alliance’s unionisation efforts incredibly difficult, one can only hope that their needs will be met. Cynically, it’s hard to say that they will, but here’s hoping.
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