The dominoes are continuing to fall after today’s bombshell news, where Xbox announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Not only does this give Xbox control of mega franchises like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, and more, it also saddles Microsoft with the responsibility to manage the ongoing scandals at Activision Blizzard.
In wake of the announcement, the ABK Workers Alliance, made up of employees of Activision Blizzard and King who demand better working conditions following months of scandal, has released a statement on the acquisition saying the group’s goals remain unchanged in light of the shift in ownership.
The news of Activision’s acquisition by Microsoft is surprising, but does not change the goals of the ABK Worker’s Alliance. (1/6)
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) January 18, 2022
“The news of Activision’s acquisition by Microsoft is surprising, but does not change the goals of the ABK Worker’s Alliance,” the Alliance said in a thread on Twitter.
“We remain committed to fighting for workplace improvements and the rights of our employees regardless of who is financially in control of the company. We will continue to work alongside our allies across the gaming industry to push for measurable change in an industry that desperately needs it. We called for the removal of Bobby Kotick as CEO in November for shielding abusers and he still remains CEO as of this writing.”
As of now, Kotick’s future at Activision Blizzard remains unconfirmed, though sources say Kotick is expected to leave once the deal is finalized. We’ll have to wait and see, as the deal is currently expected to be complete sometime before the end of June 2023.
Right now, the ABK Workers Alliance is in the middle of a strike for Raven QA, which has been ongoing for five weeks. The Workers Alliance says it still hasn’t heard back from leadership about its request to negotiate.
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“The strike for Raven QA is in its fifth week, and our striking staff has still not received response from leadership regarding our request to negotiate,” the statement reads. “And finally, 3 out of 4 of our original collective demands to improve the conditions of women in our workforce have not been met.”
The Workers Alliance ends the statement by saying the group appreciates the outpouring of support it has received in the last year.
It’s unclear what action Microsoft and Xbox will take on Activision Blizzard’s messy lawsuits. Late last year, Xbox head Phil Spencer said he was, “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” after the latest reports detailing sexual harassment at Activision. Spencer followed that up by saying, “I personally have strong values for a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox.”
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Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.