55 percent of creators believe the video game industry should unionize, according to the more than 2,7000 who responded to the latest annual industry survey conducted by the Game Developers Conference. That number—55 percent—is the highest response yet in the 10 years the unionization question has been asked as part of the broader survey.
The results were released leading up to next month’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, an event where game makers share insights into their design process.
But while a majority believes unionization should happen, the survey also revealed only 18 percent believe it actually will.
If you work at a video game company and are talking about (or thinking about talking about) unionization, I want to hear what those conversations are like. My secure email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my Signal number is 224-707-1561.
That said, 23 percent of respondents said conversations about unionization had taken place at their company. As a result, 36 percent reported that management at their employers were “supportive” of unionization talks, while 8 percent said their company was “opposed.” 21 percent, however, said discussions about unionization had been kept from management.
Last December, the first game developer union was formed in North America. Around the same time, mega publisher Activision Blizzard—the same one recently sold to Microsoft for nearly $70 billion—responded to worker organizing in the wake of its toxic workplace culture being exposed with anti-union tactics. If 2021 was the moment the prospect of unionization in the video game industry felt real, it’s possible 2022 is when the movement goes wider.