Diablo Devs say Activision is going back to its old federation-breaking tricks

Diablo IV's Lilith prepares to discuss her case before the NLRB.

picture: Blizzard

Almost two months after Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotik announced that the company would finally begin negotiating its first union contract with Game Workers Alliance at Raven SoftwareBlizzard Albany employees, are currently working on Diablo IV, says the publisher returned to try to bankrupt the syndicate. They accuse Activision Blizzard of rehiring law firm Reed Smith to instead undermine their regulatory efforts. Voluntary recognition of the second union of the company.

“Instead of taking Microsoft’s approach and sticking to a labor-neutrality agreement, Activision made a clear and conscious decision to strip us of our basic labor rights while again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting company,” said the Albany Game Workers Alliance, which regulates things like better wages and health care. and work-life balance, among other things, he wrote in a press release on Wednesday. The group says Activision Blizzard is re-asking for help from Reed Smith, an organization that provides “avoid union‘, in a ‘futile effort’ to ‘delay recognition.’ Workers say, Reed Smith intends to urge the National Labor Relations Board to deny the right of the individual quality assurance group to form unions.

When asked to comment, The Call of duty publisher She didn’t say why law firm Reed Smith was being rehired or how much she was paying, but she did confirm that she would push again for a studio-wide vote on joining unions. “Given the significant impact this change could have on approximately 150 people in Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions), we believe that every Albany employee working at Diablo should have a direct say in this decision; company spokesperson Rich George wrote in a statement via mail. Email: “This should not be done by less than 15% of employees.”


The Albany-based team is an integrated group that shares a focus on the game franchise itself and works on related game features and functionality. These employees share great commonalities in their work and maintaining cohesion during the complex game development and production process is essential.

A screenshot of an old Reed Smith presentation previews tactics for discouraging unionization.

Screenshot: Reed Smith

This is the Same operating guide as last time When Raven Software first sought to unite. First, it integrated QA staff directly into other disciplines within the broader studio, and later argued that for this and other reasons, the entire studio should vote on the union rather than those in QA who already overwhelmingly supported it. Ultimately, the National Action Council sided with the workers, but it still delayed action for months.

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard has worked with Reed Smith International He bragged on his website at the time To help companies avoid and fight unions. She even kept a PowerPoint presentation On his website Which included slides on how unions are going about it Exploitation of lazy workers and strategies to convince workers that unions are a bad idea. This presentation has since been deleted.

Activision Blizzard’s renewed battle against unions comes just two months after Microsoft is currently set to acquire it for $69 billion, announced that it would remain “neutral” On the union’s efforts to move forward. Part of a campaign to get regulatory approval for the largest tech acquisition in history, it looks like it could point to a new Activision playbook as well. apparently not. The transaction is expected to close before June 2023.

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