Skip to main content


Search News

Date Published Between

For the Media

For media inquiries, call CWA Communications at 202-434-1168 or email To read about CWA Members, Leadership or Industries, visit our About page.

Communications Workers of America Responds to ZeniMax Media Studio Closures

On Tuesday, May 7, Microsoft announced that it is closing studios Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Games and reassigning the Roundhouse Studios Team to ZeniMax Online Studios. This announcement highlights the need for workers in the video game industry to organize, particularly as layoffs become the norm, even at highly profitable companies. While union representation can't always protect against layoffs, the bargaining process enables video game workers to establish greater transparency and policies that put their needs first, including layoff protections. The watershed contract secured earlier this year by workers at Sega of America with CWA’s help included enhanced layoff protections and severance benefits, and CWA-represented workers at ZeniMax – who were not directly impacted by this week’s announced changes – hope to establish similar protections as they continue to negotiate the first collectively bargained contract in Microsoft’s history.

“In his email announcing the layoffs, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty urged us to treat our departing colleagues with ‘respect and compassion.’ We ask, where is the respect and compassion from Microsoft? These layoffs had nothing to do with the quality of work and everything to do with management’s decision to prioritize profit over those who worked on and loved these games. Every video game worker deserves not only their fair share, but also the peace of mind that comes from having a say over the impact of job cuts. We encourage and support all video game workers to organize for a voice on the job,” said Zach Lyon, a Senior II QA Tester at ZeniMax and union member.


Press Contact

CWA Communications