A group of employees at Blizzard Albany, formerly Vicarious Visions, have accused Activation of preventing their unionization efforts. The Diablo IV developers say the company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to deny their labor rights.

Blizzard Albany employees claim that Activision Blizzard rehired Reed Smith, a law firm known for its union-busting efforts, according to a Kotaku report.

  • The staff accuse the company of violating their “basic labor rights while once again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting firm.”
  • Reed Smith’s goal is to reportedly urge the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to deny the QA group’s right to unionize.
  • Activision Blizzard, however, declined to reveal why it rehired this law firm or how much it was paying it.
  • “Given the significant impact this change could have for roughly 150 people in Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions), we believe every employee in Albany who works on Diablo should have a direct say in this decision; it should not be made by fewer than 15% of employees,” Activision spokesman Rich George said in a statement.
  • The company used the same tactic when it tried to prevent a group of Raven Software testers from unionization by arguing that the entire studio should vote on a union.

A group of QA testers at Blizzard Albany announced their union last month. The staff filed for a union election with the NLRB, while also seeking Activision Blizzard’s recognition. However, the latest report indicates that the Call of Duty publisher might once again try to prevent its employees’ unionization.

Founded in 1991, Vicarious Visions has developed dozens of ports and multiple remasters, including Diablo II: Resurrected, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Earlier this year, the studio was merged into Blizzard, being renamed Blizzard Albany. The team is now also helping with Diablo IV development.

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