As video games become more expensive to make and continue to grow in scale, the talented individuals behind them have gotten more vocal about unhealthy work conditions. That isn’t to say that unhealthy work conditions are only a recent thing, but the awareness certainly has become more prevalent in recent memory. A notable story you might have heard was one involving the head writer of Read Dead Redemption 2, in which he stated, “We were working 100-hour weeks.” Ultimately, that turned out to be somewhat of a misunderstanding, but since then, it seems that the concern for developers has grown. One solution often brought up involves unionization, which, according to a study, close to half of developers are in favor of.
The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) holds a State of the Industry survey that it sent to nearly 4,000 developers this year, yielding interesting results. With 47% of those surveyed being in favor of unionization, 26% saying maybe, 11% being unsure, and 16% saying no, it’s definitely not a black and white topic among developers, but it’s clear where the scales tip.
Although many of those surveyed were in favor of unionization, 21% believed developers would actually go through with unionization, with 24% believing the opposite, and the remaining 39% being unsure. The survey also asked about hours worked each week, with 56% saying they worked 40 hours or less. This is interesting considering all the reports involving crunch leading up to releases in which developers supposedly work way more than 40 hours. Only 1.4% reported having worked more than 110 hours each week.
Included on the GDC survey was a question about whether developers were working on games for next generation hardware, with only 2% saying yes, 46% saying they’re working on current gen games, and 16% saying they were working on both current and next generation games.
These results were all insightful, giving us a direct look at how game developers are doing and what sorts of projects are in the works. Developers are often passionate groups of people, many times being willing to work exceptionally long hours in order to get things finished. This passion is worth praising, sure, but it’s important to make sure these talented folks are staying healthy, something that many fall short of, unfortunately.
What do you think of unionization within game development? Let us know!
[Source: Hollywood Reporter]