QA Workers at ZeniMax Studios Form Union Recognized by Microsoft

Published: January 3, 2023 2:26 PM /


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Microsoft's game development studios officially have their first union, as the majority of quality assurance workers at ZeniMax Studios have voted to join ZeniMax Workers United under the Communications Workers of America's umbrella.

The workers have expressed their preference by either signing a union authorization card or via a dedicated confidential online portal, effectively creating the largest group of union-represented QA testers at any game development studio in the United States.

The process was actually kicked off in November 2022, but following the closing of the vote on December 31 at 6pm PST, the new union is a done deal. It covers all QA employees in the United States across ZeniMax's vstudios.

Microsoft, which has acquired ZeniMax within the much-publicized Bethesda acquisition deal, has not opposed the formation of the union, providing its approval in accordance with its previously announced labor policies. 

The press release included a comment from Senior QA Tester Skylar Hinnant.

"We’re thrilled to kick off 2023 in a workplace that’s stronger and more equitable than it was last year. This is an empowering victory that allows us to protect ourselves and each other in a way we never could without a union. Our hope and belief is that this is the year in which game workers across the country exercise their power and reshape the industry as a whole.” 

We also hear from Senior QA Audio Tester Victoria Banos.

“Before us is an opportunity to make big changes and bring equity to the video game industry. We want to put an end to sudden periods of crunch, unfair pay, and lack of growth opportunities within the company. Our union will push for truly competitive pay, better communication between management and workers, a clear path for those that want to progress their career, and more” 

Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton also praised Microsoft's attitude toward the unionization effort, which is quite different compared to the hostile approach taken by other tech giants. 

“Microsoft has lived up to its commitment to its workers and let them decide for themselves whether they want a union. Other video game and tech giants have made a conscious choice to attack, undermine, and demoralize their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft is charting a different course which will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and as a blueprint for regulators.”

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Zenimax Online Studios
Bethesda Softworks
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date
April 04,2014
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