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Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software unionizes

Ezekiel_

Member
Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software unionizes

Weeks into a walkout, workers at Activision’s Raven Software are reportedly forming the first-ever AAA North American game workers union.

BREAKING: Testers at Raven Software, a division of Activision, say they've formed a union and are asking for voluntary recognition. The 34-person unit is the first-ever union in the big-budget video game industry. Filed to Bloomberg Terminal, story coming shortly.

— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 21, 2022

Raven Software workers, mostly QA testers, walked off of the job in early December following a mass layoff of other QA testers at the studio. While it has carried on since, the walkout has had no effect, with none of the previously fired QA testers, who had been contractors, being rehired.

Seemingly in response, a 34-person group of workers, also QA Testers, at Raven Software is forming a union. Called the Game Workers Alliance, the group has already taken to Twitter to explain its principles. Through the union, workers at Raven Software, the primary developer behind the massively popular battle royale title Call of Duty: Warzone, are seeking to reduce crunch, create transparency between leadership and workers, and ensure that Quality Assurance testers receive “respect, appropriate compensation, and career development opportunities.”

Before the newly formed union can accomplish any of its goals, it has to be recognized by Activision. In the same thread on Twitter, the union asks that “Raven Software and Activision leadership voluntarily recognize our union and respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference.”

Coming on the heels of Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft, it’s not clear what the response to the Game Worker’s Alliance will be. In the terms of the acquisition, both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft confirmed that neither is engaged with unions and refused to acknowledge any ongoing strike or walkouts, including at Raven Software.

Our Principles:
-Solidarity: The voices of workers should be heard by leadership. By uniting in solidarity, we can ensure our message is further reaching, and more effective. (1/8)
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) January 21, 2022
It’s worth noting that none of Microsoft’s employees are unionized, and that leadership at the company, including the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, doesn’t have much experience with them. In an interview with the The Washington Post, Spencer admitted to as much, saying, “I’m going to be honest, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with unions. I’ve been at Microsoft for 33 years. So I’m not going to try to come across as an expert on this, but I’ll say we’ll be having conversations about what empowers them to do their best work, which as you can imagine in a creative industry, is the most important thing for us.”

A union forming despite the acquisition is unsurprising, at least to those advocating for workers’ rights within Activision Blizzard. In an interview with Digital Trends, Jessica Gonzalez, founder and community organizer of the ABetterABK workers’ alliance, said “the news doesn’t change unionizing efforts. We are still pushing forward.”

Activision Blizzard has reached out to Bloomberg regarding the union’s formation, emphasizing its relatively small size within the company. According to Bloomberg, the publisher is “carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the GWA, which seeks to organize around three dozen of the company’s nearly 10,000 employees.”

 

ManaByte

Gold Member
QA testers are expendable and there are people lining up for that entry level job just to polish up the graphics on level 3. Most of the time they aren't even full employees and are temps. Even though asshat is giving them attention, this is likely just going to result in them being replaced.
 
QA testers are expendable and there are people lining up for that entry level job just to polish up the graphics on level 3. Most of the time they aren't even full employees and are temps. Even though asshat is giving them attention, this is likely just going to result in them being replaced.
Sometimes I wonder if game testers even make it to level 3 these days.
 

mansoor1980

Gold Member
"uncle phil" has no say in this. Activision has to recognize the union, and they're more likely to call the temp agency the QA testers work for, tell them they don't need them anymore, and then get a fresh batch of temps in.
he must have a say in this goddamnit , he has to be IN CONTROL
 

th4tguy

Member
"uncle phil" has no say in this. Activision has to recognize the union, and they're more likely to call the temp agency the QA testers work for, tell them they don't need them anymore, and then get a fresh batch of temps in.
Yeah, sadly if you aren't full hire, you are just that... expendable.
 

Three

Member
QA testers are expendable and there are people lining up for that entry level job just to polish up the graphics on level 3. Most of the time they aren't even full employees and are temps. Even though asshat is giving them attention, this is likely just going to result in them being replaced.
Good luck. The QA testers unionised after walkouts due to mass layoffs. There might be people coming in to do their job but if they were smart they would unionise too.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
lol QA testers are more expendable that call centre customer support people. GL

The fact that Schreier doesn't know this and is giving them this attention and clickbait is proof he's never had any real industry experience and should shut the fuck up and go back to making shitlord forum posts.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Get back to the cage wagies

 

chonga

Member
interesting situation , lets see how uncle phil handles this.
He has already been asked about the union situation and essentially said he doesn't know what a union is about.


I guess we know Microsoft's form on union QA staff. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ug-testers-unionized-then-they-were-dismissed
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
He has already been asked about the union situation and essentially said he doesn't know what a union is about.


I guess we know Microsoft's form on union QA staff. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ug-testers-unionized-then-they-were-dismissed

Another Bloomberg article where they don't understand that QA temps are the most expendable position of any development studio. Any company where the temps try to form a union will dismiss the temps and then the temp agency will likely fire them for being so fucking stupid to try something like that.
 
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CGiRanger

Banned
Hoeg Law did a good breakdown video on this "Union" announcement news. It's very thorough and informative:



Basically, the game journalists jumped the gun (and Jason Schrier in particular being full of shit as usual) as this has not gotten anywhere near to the point of an actual formation of a union at all, let alone one actually recognized by any of the organizations involved.

So basically non-news being propped up and misrepresented by activist journalists as per the norm. Schrier in particular should be sanctioned in a proper ethical review for this, because his reporting is flat out false.

And yeah. Microsoft will laugh at this and outsource the QA in the end.
 
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Bonfires Down

Gold Member
QA testers tho



Most likely they will just get fired and scare anyone else off from forming a union. I absolutely think it could work though if the members have some actual skills.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
Hoeg Law did a good breakdown video on this "Union" announcement news. It's very thorough and informative:



Basically, the game journalists jumped the gun (and Jason Schrier in particular being full of shit as usual) as this has not gotten anywhere near to the point of an actual formation of a union at all, let alone one actually recognized by any of the organizations involved.

So basically non-news being propped up and misrepresented by activist journalists as per the norm. Schrier in particular should be sanctioned in a proper ethical review for this, because his reporting is flat out false.

And yeah. Microsoft will laugh at this and outsource the QA in the end.
You Dont Say The Big Lebowski GIF
 
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