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Activision Blizzard Files Motion to Impound Albany Union Vote Ballots

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Blizzard Albany’s QA team is currently set to have their votes regarding unionization officially tallied on November 18th, but Activision Blizzard is stepping to to squash it, asking the National Labor Relations Board to postpone that tabulation.

Activision Blizzard filed a motion on Wednesday to impound ballots with the NLRB, saying that the count should be postponed until its appeal of a previous NLRB decision in the case can be formally heard.

Their appeal was filed alongside the motion to impound ballots.

Activision Blizzard is arguing that the review should be granted because the decision lacks precedent as “no [NLRB] decision addresses the appropriate scope of a bargaining unit in a video game studio.”

The Raven QA team voted to unionize by a count of 19 to 3.

“We deeply respect our employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a union and to make an informed decision for themselves in a process where every voice is heard,” a spokesperson for the publisher said.

“Given the significant impact this decision could have for everyone on the Albany-based Diablo team and the tight integration of our operations there, we believe strongly that each of the 107 eligible employees deserves to have their votes counted, not just the 18 quality assurance testers who are important employees but make up a small fraction of the team. We are pursuing an appeal to the NLRB regarding its proposed bargaining unit, because companies as well as union organizers have the right to make their case.”

Communications Workers of America Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens responded to Activision Blizzard’s motion with an official statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz, which stated:

“Sadly, it’s no surprise that a company that has repeatedly tried to silence its employees, including by hiding reports of sexual violence, would want to muzzle workers’ voices once again by trying to stop them from voting in a union election. Workers have concluded that they need to protect themselves from this abusive employer by joining together into a strong union.

“Instead of staying neutral, Activision’s management continues to present the same failing arguments in a desperate attempt to interfere with workers’ legal right to make their own decisions about forming a union and negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. It’s clear the company’s executives feel threatened by workers organizing in New York, Wisconsin and across the country.

“We are confident in the NLRB’s response to these frivolous requests, and we will continue to push for Activision Blizzard employees’ right to organize without delay.”

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Activision Blizzard Representation Data Report for 2022

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Activision Blizzard has release it’s 2022 representation data report, which includes data on full-time employees who identify as non-binary.

Per the report, women and non-binary individuals make up 26% of its staff. In 2021, women represented 24% of Activision Blizzard (via GamesIndustry.biz).

In 2022, under-represented ethnic groups represented 38% of the publisher, and in 2021 that number was 36%. Additionally, employee ethnicity data represents staff who identify as multi-racial or non-white within the United States only.

While the company said that their goal is to increase roles for women and non-binary staff by 50%, Activision Blizzard hasn’t announced a target for increasing the number of under-represented ethnic groups.

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Sega of America Launches New Office in California

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Sega of America has officially announced that they have opened a brand new office in Irvine, California which will house Sega and its subsidiary Atlus’ internal publishing departments within a single space.

The focus of the new office will be facilitating media streaming opportunities for the North American team.

“The opening of the new Sega of America headquarters in Irvine represents a new era for one of the gaming world’s most esteemed brands,” said Sega global CEO, Shuji Utsumi in an official statement. “This new space helps to foster a genial and team-oriented culture to reinforce that purpose and create new stories and worlds that will entertain gamers for generations.”

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Keywords Studios Opens Office in Romania

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Keywords Studios has officially announced that they have opened a brand new location in Bucharest, Romania, which comes a year after their acquisition of art studio AMC.

“We want to contribute to the development of the industry in Romania, offering people the opportunity to lend a hand in the development of some of the most popular games in the world,” said head of studio Vlad Alexandru in an official statement.

“This studio will also further contribute to the growth of Keywords’ global talent pool which stands at 12,000+ and is increasing by the day.”

 

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