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SXSW Interactive 2016

Does the Video Game Industry Need a Union?

Video games are a $22 billion a year in revenue industry. The ambition and cost of AAA video game development is beginning to rival blockbuster movies, with million-dollar budgets and hundreds of employees per project. Yet there’s no unified workforce. Each year, a handful of game designers speak up about long hours, abusive bosses, and unpredictable pay.
Why don’t people making video games have the basic protections allotted to other similar industries? Is the industry as unstable as its most outspoken critics claim? A four-person panel comprised of top video game educators, designers, and analysts, along with a workers’ rights advocate, will speak about how a union could hinder and help.

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  1. Is a union practical in an industry spread across the globe?
  2. Historically speaking, have workers been treated fairly in industries without guaranteed workers’ rights?
  3. What might a workable video game union look like?



Chris Plante, Sr Editor, The Verge

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