Video game unionization effort starts petition to remove Bobby Kotick from Activision-Blizzard


After calling for Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to resign on Wednesday, video game industry unionization group Game Workers Unite has now put together a campaign and petition to agitate for the same.

“We are proud to partner with @teamcoworker to organize this campaign. Their many successful campaigns to improve the lives of workers are an inspiration,” the group tweeted. “If you support the 800 Activision Blizzard employees who were laid off while the c-suite personally raked in millions, sign our petition to #FireBobbyKotick!”

The move comes in the wake of ActiBlizz executives deciding to axe 800 jobs across multiple studios in spite of its record-high revenues in 2018. The petition has over a thousand signatures right now.

A few other news bits on the new story that dominated the entire week:

  • There’s a positively gigantic list of game studios that are hiring floating around Linkedin. Whatever your current thoughts on the industry as a whole, you gotta love the worker solidarity here.
  • GIbiz’s NA editor has up a scathing piece on the move examining Kotick’s business strategies – and finding them wanting, particularly in the long-term: “For him at least, it seems the company’s incentives truly reward profit and nothing else. But beyond any kind of moral scolding one would direct at a multimillionaire many times over who values increasing his own net income over the well-being of hundreds and hundreds of his employees, Kotick’s aggressive short-term optimizing looks reckless in the long run.”
  • Here’s some irony: Not even all the shareholders are happy with Kotick. One shareholder who commented on the union twitter thread pointed out that not only was he unhappy with the treatment of the 800 people fired, he’d still “lost a large amount of money in the stock due to Bobby Kotick being an idiot” and therefore supported giving him the boot.
Source: Petition. Thanks, Serrenity.
The US’s largest labor union, AFL-CIO, has an open letter on Kotaku urging game developers to unionize.

“While you’re putting in crunch time, your bosses are ringing the opening bell on Wall Street. While you’re creating some of the most groundbreaking products of our time, they’re pocketing billions. While you’re fighting through exhaustion and putting your soul into a game, Bobby Kotick and Andrew Wilson are toasting to ‘their’ success. They get rich. They get notoriety. They get to be crowned visionaries and regarded as pioneers. What do you get? Outrageous hours and inadequate paychecks. Stressful, toxic work conditions that push you to your physical and mental limits. The fear that asking for better means risking your dream job.”

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