On December 9th, a group of Activision employees calling themselves the ABK Workers Alliance announced the initiation of their strike. The majority of Quality Assurance testers at Raven Software walked out of the studio in response to Activision laying off a number of QA devs days prior. It was also in response to the alleged abuse and harassment occurring within Activision Blizzard.
The work stoppage was accompanied by the ABK Strike Fund on GoFundMe. The fundraiser earned $376k to support the laid-off developers as well as the striking coworkers. The striking workers will store the remaining funds for future organizing or strike efforts.
The ABK Workers Alliance recently pressured Activision to recognize their efforts to unionize. ABK Workers garnered enough signatures to form the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) union, and are waiting for recognition from leadership.
Raven Software QA strike ends
Activision Blizzard still hasn’t recognized the GWA union, but the ABK Workers Alliance has ended the quality tester strike. The official ABK Workers Alliance Twitter account formally announced the end of the strike.
The ABK Workers Alliance stated, “Pending the recognition of our union, the Raven QA strike has ended.”. They further clarified that the strike had officially come to an end, and the “pending” was in reference to Activision’s response.
The alliance stated that they were acting in “good faith” and are asking for “good faith” in return. In the meantime, Warzone’s new Caldera map might finally be rid of all its bugs.
Before the Raven QA devs announced their attempt to unionize, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for a reported $69billion. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer addressed the workplace “incidents” and the developers’ want to unionize. Spencer stated he wasn’t an “expert” on unions, but confirmed he would be having conversations with Activision employees regarding what empowers them.
Pending the recognition of our union, the Raven QA strike has ended. Unused strike funds are being stored for future organizing/strike efforts.
We'll post or retweet any GWU updates here. Appreciate all the community support throughout the strike!
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) January 23, 2022
Activision Blizzard has yet to respond to the GWA union efforts. However, it is pressured now more than ever following the end of the strike. According to Raven’s QA lead Brent Reel, the GWA wants to see changes that reflect the wants and needs of the gaming community and developers.
The ABK Workers Alliance states they will continue to update the gaming community with any GWA updates. Until then, the striking devs will be returning to work.