Bobby Kotick has announced that Activision Blizzard would begin "good faith" negotiations with the Communication Workers of America. Earlier this year, the majority of 27 Raven Software quality assurance employees voted for and created the Game Workers Alliance, which falls under the umbrella for the Communication Workers of America. With the election having concluded, Kotick has stated that they will enter "good faith negotiations to enter into a collective bargaining agreement" with the Raven Software union:
While first labor contracts can take some time to complete, we will meet CWA leaders at the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that supports the success of all our employees, that further strengthens our commitment to create the industry’s best, most welcoming and inclusive workplace, and enhances our ability to deliver world class games for our players.
Over the past few years, Kotick noted that Activision Blizzard has invested in their QA staff and "significantly" increased pay for QA members. They have also converted over "1,100 U.S.-based temporary and contingent QA workers to full-time positions", which is a good start and shows that perhaps Activision Blizzard can learn from their mistakes. There will also be expanded bonuses based on performance for QA employees, along with benefits that are "comprehensive". QA will also be more integrated into the development process, which should theoretically push games to become less buggy on launch, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
With Microsoft presumably breathing down their necks and promising an "open and constructive approach" to employee labor unions last week, it was only a matter of time before Activision Blizzard followed suit. While it may be too late to emulate Microsoft's wish for their employees to never feel the need to unionize in order to make their voices heard, perhaps the ship that's Activision Blizzard has finally begun to right itself. We'll see.
For more information on Activision Blizzard, unions, and everything in between, stay tuned to TechRaptor.