Once again, an Activision Blizzard studio is heading for a union vote.
Former Spellbreak developer Proletariat was acquired by Activision Blizzard last summer to help develop the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight. Following the successful release of Dragonflight, proletarian workers announced their intention to unionize. If recognized, it would make The Proletariat the third union at Activision Blizzard and the first to be made up of all workers, not just the studio’s QA department.
Together with the Communications Workers of America, the Alliance of Proletarian Workers demanded that “the leaders of the proletariat and the ABK voluntarily recognize our union and bargain in good faith.” A few weeks later, the leadership of the proletariat published its official response on the studio’s website.
“On December 27, 2022, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed a petition to exclusively represent a number of Proletariat employees as part of their union,” studio management wrote. “Since then, we have come to realize that many of our employees prefer to have an anonymous vote. To that end, we filed our formal position with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) earlier today and requested an anonymous voting process for take In addition to being the fairest option, it also allows employees to get all the information and different points of view.”
From Activision Blizzard’s perspective, refusing to voluntarily recognize the PWA is unsurprising, as the publisher forced its two previous unions to hold votes through the NLRB. Despite its own name, Proletariat takes a similar approach.
“The leadership of the proletariat is and has always been pro-worker,” the statement added. “In fact, the name Proletariat was inspired by the dissatisfaction of the founders as industrial workers.”
The Proletariat said its top priority was to “keep our employees informed and educated” with “voluntary open discussions.” The studio also promises to support employees “throughout the voting process.” We’ll see if this support is similar to the support provided to Raven Software and Blizzard Albany.
Unionization is a growing trend in the video game industry. Just last week, ZeniMax QA testers successfully unionized after Microsoft voluntarily recognized ZeniMax Workers United. Microsoft has been much more tolerant of unions, leading the CWA to support Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard.
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