The largest union in the video game industry is now Microsoft
Microsoft, ZeniMax Studios’ parent company, did not stand in the way of the quality assurance workers voting in favor of forming a union with Communications Workers of America. Along with today’s vote results, Microsoft officially recognized ZeniMax Workers United/CWA, making it the largest union in the video game industry and the first US union at Microsoft as a whole.
Around 300 ZeniMax staff individuals were associated with the unionization exertion, which was preparing for quite a long time prior to opening up to the world toward the beginning of December. Around this time, QA testers at Blizzard Albany, a major video game studio, voted to join CWA. After the QA staff at Raven Software voted in May 2022 to organize, the Blizzard Albany union is the second at parent company Activision Blizzard.
ZeniMax Workers United/CWA’s workers argue that, among other benefits, the union will help end sudden periods of stress, make pay more equitable, and improve communication with management. Elder Scrolls Online is developed by ZeniMax Studios, a company that focuses on creating online experiences. As part of the $7.5 billion ZeniMax Media acquisition, which brought Bethesda and other prominent development studios under the Xbox umbrella, the studio was acquired by Microsoft in March 2021.
A Microsoft representative gave the accompanying assertion with respect to the ZeniMax Studios vote: “In light of the results of the recent unionization vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America as the bargaining representative for the Quality Assurance employees at ZeniMax. We look forward to engaging in good faith negotiations as we work towards a collective bargaining agreement.”
Microsoft is currently attempting to acquire Activision Blizzard, which would connect all of these labor organizing efforts. Microsoft stated in June that it would respect all unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard, whereas Activision Blizzard has actively attempted to quell organization efforts. When it came to internal unionization, Microsoft’s neutrality was put to the ultimate test in the ZeniMax vote.