Video game workers form Microsoft’s first US labor union

A group of video game testers has formed Microsoft’s first labor union in the U.S., which will also be the largest in the video game industry, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The Communications Workers of America said Tuesday that a majority of about 300 quality-assurance workers at Microsoft video game subsidiary ZeniMax Studios has voted to join the union.

Microsoft already told the CWA it would accept the formation of the union at its Maryland-based video game subsidiary, fulfilling a promise it made to try to build public support for its $68.7 billion acquisition of another big game company, Activision Blizzard.

Two small units of Activision Blizzard workers were the first to certify unions last year in Middleton, Wisconsin and Albany, New York. A third, Boston-based Activision Blizzard subsidiary Proletariat, filed a Dec. 27 petition with the National Labor Relations Board to unionize its 57 workers.

Microsoft bought ZeniMax for $7.5 billion in 2021, giving the Xbox-maker control of ZeniMax’s well-known game publishing division Bethesda Softworks and popular game franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout.

The unionizing workers are based in Hunt Valley and Rockville, Maryland, as well as the Texas cities of Austin and Dallas.