The Raven Software QA Tester Strike has been one of many ongoing issues that Activision has had to deal with over recent months. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel in this chapter of the Activision reckoning as the A Better ABK Worker’s Alliance group announced that the strike will be ending under some conditions.
The strike started nearly two months ago after 12 QA Testers were abruptly released from their positions. The release came at the end of a long period of crunch and promises of better wages and working conditions. This prompted a large show of solidarity across Activision Blizzard and the game developer community at large. Recently, the worker’s group announced that with organizing help from Game Worker’s Alliance, the Raven QA Testers will be forming a union of their own. After the announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, A Better ABK is now showing a good-faith gesture to management to spur the recognition of their union.
With Activision coming under new management, the group wants to offer an olive branch. They will be ending the QA Tester Strike and in return, the group wants management to officially and willingly recognize their union. Unionization efforts of the Raven Software QA Testers will proceed no matter what as the workers still have to officially vote with the National Labor Relations Board. A 50% + 1 vote in favor of unionization will prompt leadership to negotiate terms in good faith. The group wants to return to work with the belief that they will be fairly negotiated with now that the process is a certainty and the company is now entering a transition period where Activision will need to clean up its remaining issues before the Microsoft acquisition is formally completed.
The efforts of the A Better ABK Alliance and the Game Worker’s Alliance have helped the Raven QA Testers form the first union at a major game developer. It’s the hope that leadership will not continue to stonewall what seems to be an inevitability at this point. Activision has already delayed acknowledging the strike. Meanwhile, the state of Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone has continued to deteriorate. Season 2 content for Warzone Pacific has been delayed in order to address the issues that have been stacking up in the battle royale mode.
Activision Blizzard needs to resolve its issues with the QA Testers and put this issue behind it. It tried to go on like business as usual and put out new Warzone and Vanguard content, but the importance of the employees it often treated as disposable has shown to be vital to the success of the game modes.