Short of a workers revolution globally, one of the things we need for workers are more unions. I’m not sure about the United Kingdom and abroad, but there are some protections for them here in the US. However, as corporations gain more and more power, those protections start to slip away. That just means now is a good time to join or start a union. Fight for that power to return back to the people. And it looks like more game developers in the UK are starting to do so.
According to the Game Workers branch of the IWGB union, it saw membership increase to nearly 50% between December 2022 and 2023. The union told The Observer that in October 2023, it saw membership rise 12%. It could possibly be attributed to the giant Epic Games layoffs.
It’s felt like a deluge of redundancies in the past five or six months. It just keeps coming and coming. And with this wave, I’ve seen people saying ‘we need to join unions’. Our membership went through the roof. We had the largest growth of new members in any month in our five-year history at the end of last year.”
Austin Kelmore, Chair of the IWGB Game Workers branch
According to Ukie, the UK video games industry body, about 1 in 30 UK gaming industry staff have lost jobs.
It has been difficult to hear of the job losses in the video games sector over the recent few months.”
Ukie co-CEO Daniel Wood
Yet again, the reasoning for seeing these actions are due to rebalancing after explosive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, when money was cheap to borrow. Now that it’s hard to pay back, employees are paying the price.
I sincerely ask that if you can, join a union. Join the struggle. Fight for better conditions. They need us more than we need them and they know it.