It looks like Blizzard can’t stop trying to fight those pesky workers. QA devs at Blizzard Albany, now known as Vicarious Visions, before Blizzard entered the studio, and the other one with whom the studio was working on Diablo IV, are leveraging some pretty serious charges, calling to mind the entire war – and even a war of QA workers at Raven Software.

The QA devs in the studio want to form their own union called the Albany Game Workers Alliance (WAGA), to improve the working conditions of Blizzard Albany. The group claims that Blizzard tried to shalt the process by re-hiring the Reed-Smith law firm to do another task to stop the union formation; readers will remember Reed-Smith in a bid to scour Raven Software QAs union formation.

According to a Blizzard statement, it’s intended to announce this time a studio-wide vote on the creation of a union instead of the departmental vote process that gave the national Labor Relations Board the official recognition of the Raven QA. If successful, such an effort in Albany would effectively put low-paid no-benefits jobs against high-salary senior developers.

This decision, based on the significant impact this change could have on about 150 people in Albany, should all employees in Albany who work on Diablo express their opinion; it shouldn’t be made by 15% of employees, reads the statement. It is the same as the one Blizzard issued following the Raven Software QA vote. These employees have significant similarities in work, and it is essential for a complete development and production process of multi-tasking.

Again, even with Activision-Blizzards insinuations and previous attempts to re-assemble QA into other departments to deter unionization, neither Raven Software QA nor Blizzard Albany QA seek control of the fate of the studio; they only represent the QA workers who eat their job. Heres the statement of the GWA Albany:

It appears that Activision Blizzards management has once again decided to take the low road to fighting against our union in spite of the fact that 95 percent of us have signed union representation cards. When this company has the opportunity to improve its reputation and demonstrate that it respects its workers, it doesn’t do that. Activision fought fiercely against the supermajority of Raven QA workers who wanted a union voice. Activision is losing this fight. The company will lose again this time. Activision has not followed Microsoft’s lead, but in his own right to accept a labor neutrality agreement. Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to detest our basic labor rights, but on a union-busting company again spending thousands of dollars on it.

Activision did not recognize the willingness of the workers at Raven Software; so it’s no surprise that the employees have given themselves another chance to give back to the public all their interest. There were grounds to think this time could be different. The Activision CEO Bobby Kotick had even sent a letter to employees, in which he told them he would be satisfied with the contract with the Raven QA workers.

As a result, the company was able to retard recognition of the union in an unnecessary effort to disband it. We’re willing to contribute to the management productively if leadership ABK is committed to high road labor standards. However, if Activision continues its hostility, we are more than ready for the future and the formal recognition of our union.

source: Kotaku (1, 2) – Kotaku (1,3) – Kotaku (1, 2). Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company due to the long-running scandal of the past few years. It’s a result of the rapid success of the Blitzchung boycott, layoffs, labor disputes and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for promoting a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous reaction to which compounded Blizzards ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple states and federal agencies are investigating the company, calling for a resignation from Bobby Koticks. As of 2022, this company is being bought by Microsoft.