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Activision Quality Assurance Workers Form Largest Video Game Union in US

600 Activision QA testers formed the largest US game industry union with CWA. This win could inspire more unionization


Approximately 600 quality assurance (QA) employees at Activision Publishing have successfully formed a union. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) played a pivotal role in facilitating the unionization process, which saw the completion of the voting phase with the results certified on March 8th. This move marks the establishment of Quality Assurance United – CWA as the most extensive video game union in the United States.

Support and Significance

The merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, finalized last year, alongside a labor neutrality agreement with the CWA signed in 2022, provided a conducive environment for the QA workers' efforts to unionize. Tom Shelley, a technical requirements specialist and one of the union's organizers, explained that these developments offered an unprecedented opportunity for QA workers to organize freely. He stressed the vital yet often underappreciated role of QA workers in the success of video game development, highlighting their traditionally lower pay and weaker protections. The unionization aims to address these issues by securing better labor protections for QA personnel.

The Broader Impact and Future Prospects

's voluntary recognition of the union reflects a growing acceptance of labor unions within the video game industry, which could inspire further organizing efforts both within the company and across the sector. Prior to this, Microsoft had recognized a union of 300 QA workers at ZeniMax Online, joining other unionized groups at Blizzard Albany and Raven Software. However, the journey towards unionization in the has not been without challenges, as demonstrated by the CWA's unfair labor complaint against Sega in 2023 for allegedly planning to phase out temporary employees part of an earlier-formed union. As the largest video game union in the U.S., Activision Quality Assurance United – CWA sets a new precedent for labor organization in the technology and entertainment industries.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.