Writers for Lovestruck, a mobile game produced by Voltage Entertainment USA, will return to work after a groundbreaking strike that ended this week after Voltage management agreed to pay increases averaging 78% and increased transparency at work. The strike was the first successful game worker strike in the history of the game development industry.
The workers approached CODE-CWA for help improving their working conditions and chose to strike even though, as independent contractors, their action was not protected under U.S. labor law. Despite the risk, they prevailed through a strategic organizing effort that united the writers behind a shared set of concerns.
"This group of writers at Voltage showed incredible courage by deciding to go on strike, and their unity during the 21 days they withheld their work led to unprecedented success," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "CWA members understand the power of going on strike, and we are proud that the Voltage workers are part of the CWA family. Joining together to address the issues they face is the best way for working people to improve their lives. The writers' bold action is a model for others who are ready to fight to improve working conditions in the video games industry and beyond."
"My wage increase is substantial and I'm very pleased with it," Frances Maples, one of the writers who went on strike, told VICE. "But beyond that, this means everything to me. It got to a point with our union where I felt like I wasn't fighting for my own wages but for the wages of my fellow writers. In the games industry, it feels really historic."
During the strike, over 4,000 fans signed a petition to demand that Voltage provide fair pay to the Lovestruck game writers. In a further illustration of the incredible support for the writers, fans raised a total of $7,723 for the Voltage Organized Workers Support Fund.