Raven Software is Unionizing as Game Workers Alliance

Published: January 21, 2022 1:34 PM /


Raven Software Unionizes Game Workers Alliance GWA cover

Workers at Raven Software -- one of the developers involved in the Call of Duty games -- have announced their intention to unionize as the Game Workers Alliance, requesting that Activision voluntarily recognize its union.

Game developer Raven Software has created (or helped create) several games in its decades-long history, but it is best known for being one of the developers involved in the Call of Duty games, the most recent of which is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Some of its workers have been participating in a multi-week strike since late last year. A portion of these workers have banded together to begin the process to form a union.

Call of Duty Developer Raven Software is Unionizing as The Game Workers Alliance

Raven Software workers announced their intentions to unionize via a new Twitter account for the Game Workers Alliance which was quote-retweeted by the Communication Workers of America. The Game Workers Alliance will fall under the umbrella of the Communications Workers of America, a nationwide union that represents workers in the communications and information industries.

Microsoft announced that it had acquired Activision Blizzard (and all of its subsidiaries) earlier this week. Activision Blizzard has been embroiled in controversy over allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment; it had to deal with a walkout from employees and criticism from the heads of console platforms in late 2021.

However, the union has not been legally recognized yet; first, it has to be voluntarily recognized by Activision Blizzard.

"We ask that Raven Software and Activision leadership voluntarily recognize our union and respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference," the Game Workers Alliance said in a Twitter thread.

"We aim to work together with leadership to create a healthy and prosperous work environment for all people, to develop successful and sustainable products, and to support the enjoyment of our players."

If Activision Blizzard does not voluntarily recognize the union, it will trigger a company-wide process for a union vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

Activision Blizzard has been heavily criticized over allegations of toxic workplace culture and sexual harassment. These criticisms have come from several U.S. state treasurers, the heads of both PlayStation and Xbox, and a group of activist shareholders, among many others. The company is also embroiled in lawsuits, unionization disputes with staff, and conflicts with government agencies.