Shipbreaker developers join a union

Shipbreaker developers join a union
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A ship lies on a jetty.

screenshot: focus entertainment

The support studio that worked on it Hardspace: Shipbreaker, Crossfire Legion, and Secret Ponchos voted to form a union with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Anemone hug offers creative, technical and business Services for AAA and indie studios. Founded in Vancouver in 2015, they are now the second Canadian game studio to form a union.

Here’s what John Lewis, the Vice President of IATSE had to say something about it:

For years, game workers in Canada have worked without the benefits and protections of a collective bargaining agreement and without the strength of union representation. Today a clear message was sent to wildlife workers in all provinces – forming a union is not only possible; it was done.

It’s a sublime speech for a tremendous accomplishment, although it does imply they were first, which isn’t entirely true. Anemone Hug then unionized keyword studioswho is currently working on the latest dragon time games. I guess he splits his hairs over the fact that only some of the keywords had unionized and not the entire multinational.

kotaku contacted IATSE to ask if they knew when collective bargaining would start and how many members are in the unit. A representative was unable to comment at the time of publication.

In December 2021, the first game developers association in North America was founded founded at Vodeo Gamesthe development studio behind it beastbreaker. Six months later, playtesters at Raven Software (who are on call of Duty games) voted for a union. When Keywords formed a union in June of this year, they drew inspiration from other union efforts in North America.

“These workers [at Anemone Hug] have found a home in the IATSE and playworkers across Canada should use their success as inspiration to organize unions in their own workplaces,” said IATSE President Matthew Loeb. “By working together, game workers have more control over their working conditions and can address the issues that have plagued this industry for years.”

Let’s hope this is a trend that continues to spread across the industry.

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