Activision Blizzard employees plan new walkout over lifting vaccine mandates [Update]

Blizzard Entertainment Hq
Blizzard Entertainment Hq (Image credit: Carli Velocci / Windows Central)

Update 7:45 p.m. ET: Activision Blizzard allowing studios to set their own mandates.

What you need to know

  • A group of Activision Blizzard employees are planning a walkout.
  • The walkout will be held on April 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. PT.
  • The workers are protesting the removal of the vaccine mandate and asking for remote work to be offered on a permanent basis.

Activision Blizzard employees are planning a new walkout, pushing back on several elements of the current planned return to office for the company.

According to an announcement from the ABK Workers Alliance, a group of employees are planning to walk out on Monday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. The workers have three demands: Reversing the removal of the current vaccine mandate at the company, offering remote work as a permanent solution, and the ability for individual employees to make the decision to work remotely or return to an office.

This comes after months of prior walkouts as workers have demanded accountability from company leadership in light of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit that broke in 2021. Employees from Raven Software ended a strike in January 2022 as part of efforts to seek recognition as a union.

Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft in a deal worth almost $69 billion. The deal is currently awaiting shareholder approval and undergoing regulatory approval, and is estimated to close sometime before June 2023. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is widely reported to be leaving the company following the complete of the acquisition. Over 1,800 employees at Activision Blizzard have signed a petition asking for the removal of Kotick.

If finalized, the deal will add Activision Blizzard as a third Xbox first-party publisher, alongside Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks.

Activision Bizzard allowing studios to set their own mandates

According to Blizzard UI engineer Valentine Powell on Twitter, the company is allowing studios to set their own vaccine mandates following backlash against a decision to end them for the entire organization.

So far, Blizzard, QAMN, QALA, and QATX have reinstated the mandates.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.