The first video game worker union has been established in the UK entitled Game Workers Unite. The union strives to create a coalition of game developers that demand fair working conditions and treatment across the industry. This is unprecedented in the video game industry and has been a topic that has become more and more prevalent in recent years. The announcement came via a blog post on the Game Workers Unite website. An official statement from the teams Twitter is as follows:
“We are SO inspired by the amazing organizing of our comrades in the UK! Their work will not just improve the lives of workers in the UK, it will have massive repercussions throughout the industry worldwide as workers realize that a better way is possible!”
Game Workers Unite started accepting applications to join the union on Friday, Dec. 14th and will hold it’s first meeting as soon as Sunday, Dec. 16, in which it will elect a head executive to represent the union. The union currently has 200 active members.
This news comes after talks of 100 hour work weeks at the Rockstar Games, developer of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Gran Theft Auto 5. Something referred to in the industry as “crunch” is the main source of uproar. “Crunch” typically takes place in the last few weeks or months leading up to a game’s release where developers are asked to work overtime in order to polish the game for launch.
With the development of unions, workers could see their crunch time go down as they will be protected from unfair working conditions. We will have to wait and see if this monumental move will spread across the industry, but Game Workers Unite is a great first step in the right direction.
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