Diablo IV Devs Accuse Activision Blizzard Of Returning To Its "Union Busting" Tricks Just Like At Raven Software

The company has rehired Reed Smith, an organization recognized for providing tactics to avoid unionization.

Anthony Jones
By Anthony Jones, News Editor August 4, 2022
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Diablo IV Devs Union-Busting

Not too long after finally recognizing the Game Workers Alliance at Raven Software, Activision Blizzard has reportedly restarted its "union busting" tricks again but aims their tactics at Blizzard Albany, the studio also developing 2023's Diablo IV. QA testers at Blizzard Albany, otherwise known as the Game Worker Alliance Albany, want to move to unionize but recently accused Activision Blizzard of overstepping their labor neutrality agreement and delaying their recognition in ways similar to what went down with Raven Software.

"Instead of following Microsoft's lead and committing to a labor neutrality agreement," said Game Workers Alliance Albany in a press release yesterday. "Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to deny us our basic labor rights while once again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting firm."

GWA Albany says that Reed Smith, an international law office recognized for its "union avoidance" services, was rehired by Activision Blizzard to "delay recognition." According to a Kotaku report, Activision Blizzard confirmed re-enlisting Reed Smith but declined to say why the organization was rehired or how much they were paying them for services. However, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson emailed the outlet that they are pushing for a studio-wide vote on unionization that failed during Raven Software's union efforts.

"Given the significant impact this change could have for roughly 150 people in Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions)," said Activision Blizzard spokesman Rich George. "We believe every employee in Albany who works on Diablo should have a direct say in this decision; it should not be made by fewer than 15% of employees."

This same decision was shot down by The National Labor Relations Board for Raven Software's fight to unionize, siding with the workers (who represent the QA team, and NOT the entire company as Blizzard likes to represent) over the company. Despite past results, Activision Blizzard has resumed its stance of trying to separate QA workers and disrupt the voting process if and when the time comes.

Note: Activision Blizzard is still under investigation by the state of California for serious harassment charges. CEO Bobby Kotick is alleged to have known about such actions within his company – and performed some himself – and shielded the perpetrators from consequences.

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About the Author

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones, News Editor
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.

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