Call of Duty devs form first-ever major gaming union
This story about unionization on a big level, boiled down, in 1:39 minutes.
What’s the fuss?
A group of game testers from a multimillion-dollar game developer have tentatively formed the first video game union at a blockbuster video game company — a sign of the times.
The billion-dollar first person shooter franchise Call of Duty has a lot of people working on it in various capacities in order to get it ready for release every year.
- Call of Duty’s free-to-play battle royale game is mostly handled by one developer: Raven Software.
- Acquired by Activision Blizzard (who owns the Call of Duty IP) in 1997, the company today is mainly responsible for maintaining and testing Call of Duty: Warzone.
Quality assurance testers at Raven Software have announced they’ve formed a union.
- Called the Game Workers Alliance, these 34 employees have received a majority of signatures within their department to form such union and have officially asked Activision Blizzard for formal recognition.
- If the company fails to respond within 5 days, the Game Workers Alliance will file for union election through the National Labor Relations Board to get recognized without the need for Activision Blizzard.
Boiling it down
These actions follow a tumultuous year for employees at both Activision Blizzard and Raven Software.
- Last December, Activision Blizzard fired several members of Raven Software’s QA team despite the fact they were promised increased wages months earlier.
- This event, combined with ongoing allegations of a toxic workplace culture, have resulted in employee work stoppages and strikes out of frustration.
Many video game developers have graced headlines over the past couple of years due to pervasive “crunch culture” — where employees are forced to work intense hours to get projects out the door on time.