Activision Blizzard wants all Diablo 4 employees to vote on unionizing

The NLRB is hearing Activision Blizzard Albany Union arguments to determine who has the right to vote, and the Diablo 4 maker introduced an unorthodox argument

Activision Blizzard Albany union: The Activision Blizzard logo appears over a background showing the company's workplace

Activision Blizzard lawyers want every worker to have a say in the vote for a union at Blizzard Albany, a new report from The Washington Post says. The argument came in the midst of National Labor Relation Board hearings to determine who should be allowed to vote on a union for the branch campus – the QA team, as was the case with Raven Studio, the first union formed at Activision Blizzard, or everyone across the company.

The Post’s report says Blizzard’s lawyers showed a trailer of Diablo 4 in its arguments in an attempt to support their statement that everyone involved in the franchise’s development should  have a vote in whether the campus should unionize. It didn’t mention what the rationale of showing this trailer in support of the argument was, though, nor did Blizzard explain why it made public the names and occupation status of several employees working on the project. 

As the Post’s Shannon Lao noted, the move raised some concerns given recent incidents with Bungie, where a content creator banned from YouTube for advertising cheats harassed and threatened members of the Destiny 2 development team. 

The instinct to delay unionization efforts is always there on the part of employers,” Wilma Liebman, former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, told the Post. “The reasons for wanting the delay may be manifold, including not only the obvious — delay what may be inevitable — but for possible transactional reasons [with Microsoft.]”

Lao also said one reason for Blizzard’s argument in favor of expanding the voter pool is the hope that including more employees outside the QA department may reduce the vote’s chance of success.

PCGN reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment, though did not hear back by the time of publication.

U.S. labor laws required Activision Blizzard to recognize and negotiate with Raven’s QA union earlier in 2022, though that didn’t stop the company from retaliating by excluding union members from salary raises.

The NLRB will make its decision on the Blizzard Albany vote on August 25.