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Activision Blizzard devs initiate strike and launch fundraiser

Employees are demanding better worker representation and meaningful cultural reforms.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

December 9, 2021

2 Min Read

The ABK Workers Alliance (ABK) has initiated a strike in a bid to force Activision Blizzard to reform a workplace culture that has reached crisis point.

The pro-worker group was formed by Activision Blizzard workers keen to bring about meaningful change after serious allegations of harassment and misconduct rocked the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher.

Many of those allegations concerned senior employees including company CEO Bobby Kotick, who was called on to resign by over 1500 employees after being accused of (among other things) sending death threats to his former assistant and overlooking serious cases of workplace misconduct.

ABK said it hopes the strike can create "lasting change," and has established a Strike Fund where people who with to stand in solidarity with those on the picket lines can donate funds. ABK is hoping to raise $1 million through the fundraiser.

"In June 2020, an article was published which highlighted the abuse, harassment and discrimination that occurred within Activision-Blizzard's offices. Since then, Activision-Blizzard leaders have continually abused, union-busted, and remained apathetic to the wishes of workers," wrote ABK on GoFundMe.

"In the months since, we've seen CEO Bobby Kotick and the Board of Directors protect abusers and only hold perpetrators accountable after the events were brought to light by outside media. We've seen Activision hire law firm WilmerHale, known for union busting, to disrupt and impede the improvement efforts of Activision-Blizzard workers.

"We've seen Raven Software workers lured by the promise of promotion, only to be terminated shortly after relocation on top of the already underappreciated and severely underpaid working conditions of ABK workers across the company.

"These, and many other events have caused an alliance of Activision-Blizzard employees to initiate a work stoppage until demands are met and worker representation is finally given a place within the company."

The strike has been announced just a day after Activision Blizzard was hit with more demands from an employee who claims to have faced sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.

Shortly before that, Raven Software's QA team walked out alongside other employees to show their support for a number of testers who were laid off to justify making 500 full-time hires at Treyarch.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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