Raven Software’s Unionization Draws Xbox CEO’s Opinion

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    According to a tape of today’s all-hands corporate meeting seen by Kotaku, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer stated he would recognize a union at Raven Software if Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is finalized.

    QA testers at Raven Software decided to unionize earlier this week, making them the first organized workers in a AAA game firm in North America. Microsoft previously stated that it would not “oppose” unionization attempts at the gaming company. In a March interview with the Washington Post, Microsoft’s corporate vice president Lisa Tanzi said, “Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ freedom to choose whether or not to be represented by a labor group, and we will uphold their decisions.”

    Raven Software Will Now Be Acknowledged By Parent Company

    Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is now under investigation by the FTC, which must approve the deal before it can be completed. According to The Information, the FTC investigation will focus on how the transaction affects Activision’s present workforce, particularly individuals who have filed discrimination and harassment complaints against the corporation.

    Several lawsuits have been filed against the Santa Monica-based videogame publisher. One was filed earlier in the month by the New York City Employees Retirement System, alleging that it devalued pension plans by failing to address accusations of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination. Meanwhile, the SEC and the DOJ are both looking into Activision and its CEO for any insider trading that took place before the Microsoft agreement was made public.

    After the firm unexpectedly dismissed 12 contractors, Raven’s QA testers began organizing last year. Raven Software’s testers have long claimed that they aren’t paid as well as others with similar responsibilities at Activision and that they are subjected to “crunch” — the often brutally long extra hours that many in the video game business are expected to work to finish products on time.

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