600 Activision QA employees vote to form America’s largest gaming industry union

600 Activision QA employees vote to form America’s largest gaming industry union

Nearly 600 Activision quality assurance (QA) employees have voted to form a union, officially becoming the largest video game union in North America.

Hundreds of quality assurance employees at Activision Publishing have voted to form Activision Quality Assurance United, with the support of the Communications Workers Union (CWA). A CWA spokesperson told Polygon that 390 of the votes counted were “yes” and eight were “no.”

The publisher of Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Diablo and Warcraft was recently acquired by Microsoft after a series of lengthy regulatory battles. Microsoft has previously said it won’t stand in the way of Activision Blizzard’s possible unions and announced a labor neutrality agreement back in 2022, apparently making it easier for organizers to form a union.

Newly formed union organizer Tom Shelley says:

This is a new initiative that has emerged in the last few weeks in response to the opportunities we have for free association following the merger. As QA workers, we often have the weakest protections and lowest pay of any worker in the industry, even though our work is integral to the success of the companies we work for and the projects we create.

Unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard and the gaming industry as a whole have been intensifying in recent years. Employees at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany successfully unionized in 2022, despite some potentially union-busting tactics employed by their parent company.