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CODE-CWA Members Grab the Golden Rings at Game Developer Conference

It’s no secret that the video game industry has been plagued with labor issues for many years. Citing a pervasive culture of misogyny dating back to the infamous “Gamergate” in 2014 to more recent concerns about inadequate staffing, “crunch culture” (extended periods of high intensity, high stress work surrounding game development and launches), and unreasonable deadlines imposed by management, video game workers saw a banner year of organizing and union formation in 2023. Much of that union power is being driven by members of CODE-CWA, the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, and they’re looking to extend their gains into 2024.

At the Game Developer Conference, the largest gathering of video game developers in the nation, CODE-CWA organizers and members used an unusual tactic to draw in crowds for conversations about union power: Sonic the Hedgehog. Over bouts of classic Sonic, organizers chatted with game developers about recent wins, struggles in the workplace, and the benefits of organizing.

“It’s been a tough year to work in the video game industry; come by our booth for a free ray of hope. Together, we can change this industry for the better by continuing to organize for the pay, benefits, and job stability we deserve,” said Kara Fannon, QA Functional Tester and member of Activision QA United-CWA.

CWA-represented workers from Tender Claws Human Union, Activision QA United, Blizzard Albany, ZeniMax Workers United, and Sega USA spoke to attendees about their experiences joining the union at the CODE-CWA booth.

CODE-CWA Members at the 2024 Game Developer Conference 
CODE-CWA members attended the Game Developers Conference last month, where they hosted a booth, played classic Sonic, and chatted with fellow conference-goers about the benefits of union membership. 
CODE-CWA Members at the 2024 Game Developer Conference