Op Ed

  • IGN - Former Blizzard Developer and ArenaNet, Undead Labs Founder: "We Need Unionization."
    "During my 25 years working alongside talented developers, I’ve heard hundreds of profoundly disturbing stories about their industry experiences. I’ve also seen this cycle repeat itself numerous times, across multiple companies throughout our industry. There has certainly been some positive change, and I do believe many developers and publishers — even large ones — are working in good faith to improve. But those efforts, while commendable, can’t address the chronic issues in our industry systemically. In order to do that, game industry employees need advocacy and representation.

    We need unionization."
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17.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 16:53
17.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 16:53
Aug 1, 2021, 16:53
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 23:52:
You guys are really delusional if you think unionization is the answer to fixing this problem. I grew up back east, and I know all to well what Unions do to companies. once they are in, its a nightmare to get them back out once you see the real effect they have. Union Dues, then comes complaints about better pay, and benefits, and so on and so forth. This all translates back to higher cost in development and this will effect the price of games.

This is bad in the worst way possible, and you guys really need to take a step back and see this for what it really is.

It will get to the point where they will take development outside the US just to remove this possibility.

Clearly you've never worked for a union or a bad owner either. The latter is far worse than the former. Kotick made 155 million in 2019. That's fucking offensive.
"You’re still learning English? That’s the language you speak. How dumb are you?" - Rick Sanchez
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16.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 10:59
16.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 10:59
Aug 1, 2021, 10:59
 
The gaming industry, like many others, has shown that when they are left to their own devices in a free market - will absolutely exploit their workforce for the least amount of money in the worst possible conditions that they can (long hours, crunch times, etc).

The industry has been free to invest their billions in profit back into the company, but have clearly chosen to pocket it at the highest levels instead.

And on top of all of this, it can't manage to treat their male and female employees fairly - in fact, working at a gaming company might get you sexually harassed with no recourse.

Time to form a union and protect the people who actually make the games, and not those that profit from the hardwork.
15.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 10:46
15.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 10:46
Aug 1, 2021, 10:46
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 23:52:
You guys are really delusional if you think unionization is the answer to fixing this problem. I grew up back east, and I know all to well what Unions do to companies. once they are in, its a nightmare to get them back out once you see the real effect they have. Union Dues, then comes complaints about better pay, and benefits, and so on and so forth. This all translates back to higher cost in development and this will effect the price of games.

This is bad in the worst way possible, and you guys really need to take a step back and see this for what it really is.

It will get to the point where they will take development outside the US just to remove this possibility.

My dad was part of the UAW for nearly his entire career. They weren't great, but the alternative was that automakers in general, or his in particular, would get away with a LOT more crap behavior concerning their employees.

Game devs are in a better spot to unionize versus infotech. Game development is historically poorer for outsourcing especially to teams that are half a world away from the core designers. There are a lot of nuances and to develop these AAA titles, studios want to keep their talent as close to home as possible. It makes for a higher quality product and a smoother development. Not to say that their processes aren't flawed by publisher demands and timelines, but that's a different story.
14.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 07:35
14.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 07:35
Aug 1, 2021, 07:35
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Aug 1, 2021, 04:33:
"Most European countries have far greater levels of union coverage than the USA.
As of 2013, more than two-thirds of workers in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland were union members." And those countries are better places to live than the USA.
Fun fact about Denmark:
There is no minimum wage law, yet McDonald's employees make ~$20/hour.

This is in part due to the 3-party negotiation tradition, where the government is a mediator in the negotiations between companies and unions. The Danish government is seen as a neutral party since they want to keep both workers and companies happy. They want workers (ie. voters) to be compensated in a fair manner and they want economical growth for companies (hoping to create more jobs).
13.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 04:33
13.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 04:33
Aug 1, 2021, 04:33
 
"Most European countries have far greater levels of union coverage than the USA.
As of 2013, more than two-thirds of workers in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland were union members." And those countries are better places to live than the USA.

"In France and Austria, a minority of workers are in unions, but 98 percent are covered by collective bargaining contracts."

Russia never was the workers' paradise, but USA *is* the workers purgatory.
Greedy politicians are allowed to be bought openly by the powerful, so workers suffer without real defense.
Except if the have unions or the government care enough to update the minimum income, even if it's political suicide with some voters.

Do you know that in *any* other 1st world country, you have paid sick leave, with reasonable limits, paid maternity leave, exams, voting, close family deaths, etc leave, do you ?

Best country in the world, not even near:
Quality of Life Rankings
1 Canada
2 Denmark
3 Sweden
4 Norway
5 Switzerland
6 Australia
7 Netherlands
8 Finland
9 Germany
10 New Zealand
11 Austria
12 Belgium
13 Japan
14 United Kingdom
15 Ireland
16 Singapore
17 France
18 South Korea
19 Spain
20 United States
The most powerful country in the world doing so poorly, something is rotten.

If it should come to that, though no such effect must happen, I'll definitively pay more for things and not have workers abused.

Have to buy less games/whatever because of other people reasonable livelihood?, how dire /s.
And the world doesn't end at USA's borders: f*ck the sweatshops.

This comment was edited on Aug 1, 2021, 04:50.
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12.
 
Re: Op Ed
Aug 1, 2021, 01:00
12.
Re: Op Ed Aug 1, 2021, 01:00
Aug 1, 2021, 01:00
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 23:52:
You guys are really delusional if you think unionization is the answer to fixing this problem. I grew up back east, and I know all to well what Unions do to companies. once they are in, its a nightmare to get them back out once you see the real effect they have. Union Dues, then comes complaints about better pay, and benefits, and so on and so forth. This all translates back to higher cost in development and this will effect the price of games.

This is bad in the worst way possible, and you guys really need to take a step back and see this for what it really is.

It will get to the point where they will take development outside the US just to remove this possibility.

Ask UPS drivers if they want to get rid of the Teamsters. Ask the Longshoremen if they want to get rid of their union. Ask the electricians, the pipefitters, etc. Do the postal carriers want to get rid of their union? No. Or how about everyones favourite example, the police? The only people who want to get rid of police unions are the ones who think they do TOO MUCH for officers, like shield them from responsibility.

There are a billion counterexamples of people who are absolutely happy with their union and wouldn't have a pot to piss in if it wasn't for collective bargaining. In many of these cases, you have direct non-union comparisons available, and the non-union employees don't have shit in comparison.

You sound like every corporate shill. "Guys prices will go up and they will take jobs overseas if you dont bend over and take it in the ass every time they unzip!" Its the same. exact. shit. We can't raise taxes on the rich because they'll move. We can't increase regulations on polluters because they'll move, etc. It's defeatist at best, shilling at worst.
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11.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 23:52
11.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 23:52
Jul 31, 2021, 23:52
 
You guys are really delusional if you think unionization is the answer to fixing this problem. I grew up back east, and I know all to well what Unions do to companies. once they are in, its a nightmare to get them back out once you see the real effect they have. Union Dues, then comes complaints about better pay, and benefits, and so on and so forth. This all translates back to higher cost in development and this will effect the price of games.

This is bad in the worst way possible, and you guys really need to take a step back and see this for what it really is.

It will get to the point where they will take development outside the US just to remove this possibility.
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10.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 21:11
Kxmode
 
10.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 21:11
Jul 31, 2021, 21:11
 Kxmode
 
In other news, Blizzard dropped law firm Dewey Cheatem & Howe and went with the law firm Bicker Back & Forthe for their amazing ability to reach a settlement before going to trial.
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9.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 20:33
9.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 20:33
Jul 31, 2021, 20:33
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 15:34:
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.

Yes, the cost of products tends to go up when the people who make them are paid appropriately and given proper workplace conditions. For example, products that aren't made by child slaves in Malaysia cost less than products made somewhere like China. Products made in China cost less than products made in the US.
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tell them their DMCA doesn't mean shit and to go eat a bowl of dicks.
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8.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 20:04
8.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 20:04
Jul 31, 2021, 20:04
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 18:25:
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 15:34:
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.

Why would the cost of games go up? Cut executive pay to something reasonable. Knobby Nodick makes more in a year than all of Blizzard's staff combined.

You don't actually think this, do you?

Bobby Kotick has made $461 Million in total compensation since 2007. That works out to about $33 Million per year. Blizzard has 4700 people on staff. Even if they made 20k each (which is absurd and most make much more than that), that puts a yearly labour cost at $94 Million. So while he absolutely makes too much for what he does, he does not make more than the rest of the staff combined.
7.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 19:59
7.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 19:59
Jul 31, 2021, 19:59
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 15:34:
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.

I sincerely hope this was a joke. If not: Fuck entitled attitudes like these. Developers deserve better working conditions. They are more entitled to unionization and better conditions than you are to cheap games. Leave the hobby if you want people to suffer so that you can buy things cheaply.
6.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 19:26
6.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 19:26
Jul 31, 2021, 19:26
 
Supply and demand is still going to be an issue for a while in the gaming industry. You have to be top tier to stand out with your skillset before start getting treated decent since a good chunk of the new blood will put up with a lot of crap just to have a "cool" studio on the resume list.
Unions perhaps are one strategy, however it is supposed to be in the interest of both sides, as in the union as a whole needs to offer difficult to replace skillsets and excel above average to earn above industry average treatment. I'm not saying crunch and getting fired after a game cycle winds down aren't real problems, but it is always a hard fight when the majority are willing to put up with it. Wanting better game dev treatment is noble, how to achieve that however is a difficult riddle.

Notably, they also have several contract slots on their jobs page, which has been another industry potential sore spot subject.

This comment was edited on Jul 31, 2021, 19:59.
5.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 19:05
5.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 19:05
Jul 31, 2021, 19:05
 

That's long overdue...
4.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 18:25
4.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 18:25
Jul 31, 2021, 18:25
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 15:34:
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.

Why would the cost of games go up? Cut executive pay to something reasonable. Knobby Nodick makes more in a year than all of Blizzard's staff combined.
"You’re still learning English? That’s the language you speak. How dumb are you?" - Rick Sanchez
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3.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 16:50
3.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 16:50
Jul 31, 2021, 16:50
 
Probably no surprise the firm representing Blizzard is also the same union-buster Amazon used.
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2.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 15:56
2.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 15:56
Jul 31, 2021, 15:56
 
Darks wrote on Jul 31, 2021, 15:34:
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.
Yea, those stupid devs should just accept anything management does to them. It's their own fault for wanting to help make great games.

/s
1.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jul 31, 2021, 15:34
1.
Re: Op Ed Jul 31, 2021, 15:34
Jul 31, 2021, 15:34
 
Fuck that, unions will only make the industry worst and make the cost of games go way up.
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Now integrated into Steams NWN: Enhanced Edition

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