“There are issues in the video game industry that often go unaddressed because our work is considered a passion instead of a job,” Blizzard Albany associate test analyst Amanda Laven said in a statement. “Quality assurance workers deserve fair treatment and proper compensation for the work we do which is why we chose to form a union.”
Today, we announce a new union at Activision Blizzard.
QA is currently an undervalued discipline in the games and software industries. We strive to
foster work environments where we are respected and compensated for our essential role in the
development process. 1/5
QA testers are responsible for identifying and removing bugs or glitches in a game, making sure that the user experience is as smooth as possible. But when a game is on its way to release, QA testers are often subjected to “crunch” conditions, requiring them to work extremely long hours to make sure the product is ready.
“We get marginalized and thought of as a number, but we are key to any game that is out there,” Blizzard Albany associate test analyst Brock Davis told TechCrunch.
Davis told TechCrunch that out of 20 employees, all but one have signed on to join the union. That gives the unit a supermajority with 95% approval. To earn formal union recognition and the right to good faith bargaining with Activision Blizzard, they need to win over 50% of votes in a formal election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Based on current support for the union, that goal seems well within reach. While Blizzard acknowledged its Albany QA testers’ desire to unionize, the company hasn’t honored their request for recognition.
“We said, ‘This isn’t what we want our industry to be,’” Davis told TechCrunch.