Activision-Blizzard is walking out again, Australia’s game industry unionizes


Activision-Blizzard’s workers are continuing to mobilize: Following the mass-layoffs at Activision’s RavenQA over the weekend, Raven workers staged a walkout yesterday, and now they’re doing it again – joined this time by a walkout by workers at other Activision-Blizzard units, including Blizzard itself.

Meanwhile, Game Workers Unite Australia has been an activist group working in Australia for some time now, serving to empower and support workers who seek to join a union. However, it’s changing roles next year to serve as an industry-wide union for the video game industry, rebranding as Game Workers Australia to offer a place for every employee a chance to unionize and organize accordingly. The current plan is for the union to kick off operations in March 2022, though there is some uncertainty built into that date.

GWUA’s official release states that this will enable the organization to help organize collective action for the people it represents to deal with discrimination, underpayment, unfair working conditions, and/or lobbying for proper agreements as necessary. It’s a pretty big step for the organization and another move in the ongoing unionization debate across the overall industry. Whether or not an industry-wide union will has as much pull as one focused at a specific development studio remains to be seen, but it’s still forward movement.

Source: Official Site via Kotaku
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In the summer of 2021, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. As of fall 2021, multiple state and federal agencies are currently investigating the company and the industry has called for Bobby Kotick’s resignation following fresh reports on his misdeeds.
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