Kotaku reports that Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, announced that the company would acknowledge the Raven Software Union. The news comes from an Xbox all-hands meeting on May 26th.
Activision Blizzard, the current parent company of Raven Software, failed to acknowledge the union.
Phil Spencer addressed his previous comments on a lack of experience regarding unions.
“So I’m not going to try to come across as an expert on this,” he originally stated, “but I’ll say we’ll be having conversations about what empowers them to do their best work.”
It sounds like they have had those conversations.
“Linda Norman and I have been spending a lot of time educating myself on unions,” said Spencer. “We absolutely support employees’ right to organize and form unions. Once the deal [for Microsoft to buy Activision] closes, we would absolutely support employees’ organization that’s in place. We think it is a right of employees and something that can be a part of a relationship between a company and people who work at the company.”
According to Phil Spencer, Microsoft does not have a current relationship with the Communication Workers of America or the Game Workers Alliance union. Once the deal, which is under FTC investigation, “we will absolutely recognize [the Game Workers Alliance union],” Spencer said.
The comments from Phil Spencer come days after former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime spoke on the topic of unionization. “Companies need to look hard at their practices and make sure they are creating a worker-friendly environment,” Fils-Aime said. “In many industries, unionization is a good thing…if this is what your employees want, you need to address that and embrace it and move forward.”
Raven Software isn’t the only game studio union. Vodeo formed the industry’s first in December 2021. BioWare QA contractors hope to follow in Raven’s footsteps and unionize. Fils-Aime’s old company, Nintendo, also sees allegations of preventing a worker’s right to unionize.