Proletariat Inc, a recently acquired studio by Activision Studio to help develop their MMORPG World of Warcraft, has announced that the full studio is forming a union and requesting recognition for all non-management workers.
This is the third union to form within ABK, the first being Raven Software and the second being Blizzard Albany, formerly known as Vicarious Visions. Proletariat Inc. was purchased by Activision-Blizzard in July 2022 and was brought on to help continue the development of World of Warcraft and its various expansions. Now, rather than just a group of QA workers at the studio requesting recognition as a union, this is the entire studio forming a union and requesting all non-management workers be recognized as part of this union. Proletariat Inc is working alongside Communications Workers of America, CWA, in order to unionize and has requested a union representation election with the National Labor Relations Board.
The studio posted their requests via Twitter, where it shows they have requested that working from home be a permanent option for those within the studio, as well as fair wages in terms of overtime. Speaking of overtime, the studio requests that OT be optional rather than mandatory. Proletariat is also requesting that failure to work OT will not have any negative effects on their performance evaluations. They are also requesting that communication be transparent and clear in terms of compensation and that there be plenty of room to grow within ABK. This includes things such as pay raises and career development for those reaching for a bigger role in the company.
As we all know from previous unionization and suits against ABK, the work environment has been alleged to be very hostile and stress-inducing. With those thoughts in mind, Software Engineer at Proletariat, Dustin Yost, states that the studio began to discuss how they could protect the happy and thriving work environment they created if ABK were to acquire the studio. He goes on to state,
"By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can make sure that we are able to continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development."
The team at Proletariat Inc is requesting that this union be recognized by ABK voluntarily, but only time will tell as to whether or not the company chooses to do so. The studio has reached out to Activision-Blizzard directly about this unionization, and has yet to get any form of response at the time of writing.