Activision says unionising will not help “produce world-class games”

A message was shared with staff by the vice president of QA

The vice president of Quality Assurance (QA) at Activision has presented an anti-union message.

This follows the announcement that the striking Raven Software employees formed the Game Workers Alliance union, and the company-wide message was shared by yesterday (January 31) Jessica Gonzalez, a founder and organiser of the strikes and union.

Activision previously decided not to recognise the union, and the recent statement from vice president of QA Christian Arends began by saying that Activision “respects employees’ NLRA rights to have these discussions about potential unionisation and supports your rights to do so.”

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In answer to the employee question “we heard that the union will protect employees and provide employees with better job security?”, Arends posted the following:

“Job security here at [Activision Blizzard King] rests with our ability to produce epic entertainment for our fans. A union doesn’t do anything to help us produce world-class games, and the bargaining process is not typically quick, often reduces flexibility, and can be adversarial and lead to negative publicity.”

“All of this could hurt our ability to continue creating great games,” Amends continues. “While many union contracts include a “just cause” provision and a grievance process, this is really just a different way to deal with disciplinary issues. Even union contracts with “just cause” and grievance procedures still allow companies to enforce disciplinary rules, and CWA members are disciplined and terminated even with these so-called protections.”

The message also contains answers on union membership, whether or not the sole company would fall under the union, and how the union impacts the decision making process across Activision.

As it stands, the Game Workers Alliance will file for a union under the National Labour Relations Board, and in response Raven studio head Brian Raffel said that “we think all employees at Raven should have a say in this decision” to unionise.

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In other news, Discord has now been integrated with the PS4 and PS5, after Sony invested in the chat platform last year.

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