Activision Blizzard Employees Plan Walkout, UK Watchdog Investigates Microsoft Deal

There is no winning if you’re Activision Blizzard. Every week, a new scandal, lawsuit, walkout, accusation, or classic franchise is turned into a freemium game. This week served up a double whammy as employees planned a walkout and the acquisition deal with Microsoft came under investigation.
Employees at the Act-Blizz are not happy, as is typical since the late 2010s. However, this time the outrage isn’t regarding crunch, harassment, or negligent leadership within the company. According to tweets found by GameSpot, the employees of Activision Blizzard King (King being a subsidiary of AB) are planning a walkout due to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe V. Wade. In the thread on Twitter, @ABetterABK stated the following:

In light of the recent attacks on the civil liberties of our employees, the employee-led Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination has scheduled a walk out action on July 21st, 2022. We are calling for protection of several communities of marginalized workers. Employees are actively facing state legislation that is putting women, LGBTQ+ employees, and their families at risk, with other vulnerable groups on the horizon.

The 17-tweet-long thread concluded with a link to a GoFundMe page (which we will not link to) and made a few additional demands:

Finally, while “retaliation” is prohibited on paper, the company has been actively engaged in union busting for a year now, and employees have been harassed and intimidated for organizing. As such, our walk out action also demands that the company begin and maintain dialogue with the members of the Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination, and legally commit to neutrality in our workers’ attempts to organize.

Activision Blizzard currently offers employees a reimbursement amount of $4k for those who need to take care of a medical matter that is not offered within the employee’s state of residence. What if anything the walkout will change is unknown. AB has yet to make a statement regarding the walkout.
Moving away from employee frustrations, we’ll now look at possible issues with Microsoft acquiring the company that Warcraft built. According to PC Mag, the $68.7 billion deal to gobble up the developer/publisher has come under the watchful eye of a United Kingdom watchdog group called the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
The inquiry into Microsoft’s potential purchase was set into motion on July 6th. The CMA’s case is based on the following train of thought:

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

So, it looks like a question of whether the purchase could lead to an anti-trust issue. That is understandable, considering how many properties, games, etc., are under Activision Blizzard’s belt. But would this make Microsoft have a sort of stranglehold on games publishing?
Let us know your thoughts about both situations in the comments section below.
[Source: PC Mag] [Source: GameSpot]

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Mike Phalin

Longtime problematic entertainment journalist. The former workhorse for Dread Central,, and Fanbolt.

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