Blizzard Albany QA staff vote to unionise

Blizzard Albany QA staff vote to unionise

The quality assurance (QA) team over at Blizzard Albany has voted to unionise.

The decision was unanimous, with all 14 developers balloted saying that they wanted to form a union at the studio. In total there were 18 votes cast, but one was disqualified and another three were challenged by Activision Blizzard.

This is the second union to be formed at Activision Blizzard following Raven Software's QA team forming a bargaining unit earlier this year.

"It took an unbelievable amount of work and perseverance to move this fight forward," Blizzard Albany associate test analyst Amanda Deep said. 

"With this victory, we're advocating for ourselves and each other because we care deeply about our work and the games we make. Organizing has empowered all of us to fight hard for the dignity and respect every worker deserves on the job… We can only hope that our win will continue to grow the labour movement at other video game studios across the country."

An Activision Blizzard rep added: “We are considering all options, with a focus on what is best for all employees and to provide the best games for our millions of players. We still believe our entire Albany team should have the right to vote. This is about fundamental fairness and rights for every member of the team.”

This vote comes in the wake of Activision Blizzard attempting to have the entire Blizzard Albany studio vote on the matter rather than just the QA team. This was initially rejected in October, though the games giant appealed the decision the following month, as well as filing to stop the votes cast by the QA team being counted. This was rejected again last week

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.