General Discussion Forum

Topic: Why no unions in gaming?

Showing 1 to 20 of 67

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Sean_Aaron

1. Posted:

After reading about the developer angst at the Rayman Legends delay on Wii U and reading more about how awful it often is to work on games - to the point that many don't last more than five years in the industry, I have to wonder why game developers haven't unionised yet. I suppose it's because they view themselves as most IT workers do: well-paid for what they do and thinking that unions are only about salary negotiations, forgetting the better working conditions aspect.

Rather than thinking of themselves as creative IT professionals they should model themselves on people who work for movies and TV, who have a long union tradition. I'm pretty sure writers in Hollywood were bullied by their employers; told that they'd never work in the industry again if they didn't do as they were told and how lucky they were to work in motions pictures in exchange for little or no credit. The time seems ripe for game developers to get the fair treatment they deserve from managers and publishers. I simply don't get why you'd work in sweatshop conditions when it's just not necessary.

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

BLOG, mail: sean@seanswiiworld.co.uk
Nintendo ID: sean.aaron

AuthorMessage
Avatar

CanisWolfred

2. Posted:

I don't know...and I really hope that doesn't change, myself. I like developers and all, but unions cause more problems than they solve...

Doesn't talk about games.

Avid Fan of Anime, Webcomics, and Wolves
My Den - My door is always open....Too bad it's an empty closet.
My DeviantArt - I like to call it "the blank wall"

Wolfrun
Wolfrun Chibi

Arooo~

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Reala

3. Posted:

I think it would help more than hinder, yeah there are some bad unions out there; but for the most part they have a job which is to make sure their workers rights are protected and good practice is carried out, I'd trust them more than the management and publishers anyway.

there's nothing that's certain... of that you can be certain

AuthorMessage
Avatar

The_Fox

4. Posted:

I don't have the slightest clue why they haven't unionized yet. There have been plenty of horror stories of the shoddy treatment development teams have taken that a unionized group (rightfully) wouldn't tolerate.

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

-President John Adams

Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

AuthorMessage
Avatar

CanisWolfred

5. Posted:

Even good unions could mean longer development time and higher wages. That certainly wouldn't be good for the business, and it wouldn't be good for us - the gamers.

Doesn't talk about games.

Avid Fan of Anime, Webcomics, and Wolves
My Den - My door is always open....Too bad it's an empty closet.
My DeviantArt - I like to call it "the blank wall"

Wolfrun
Wolfrun Chibi

Arooo~

AuthorMessage
Avatar

V8_Ninja

6. Posted:

I guess the reason would have to be because game development is a very passionate field. Programmers and artists, with their talents, could go into what are more profitable areas and make their livings off doing other work, but they actively choose to make games. As such, they may overlook bad work conditions to be able to continue to do what they want to do.

Thanks given to Xkhaoz for that one avatar.
Please contact me before using my custom avatar!
A (Former) Reviewer for Digitally Downloaded.net
My Backloggery, My Anime List, and My Blog
You can email me here.

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Reala

7. Posted:

I'm sure they could restructure wages by taking a bit from the top to spread around without hitting final game costs too much if at all, just depends how its handled.

there's nothing that's certain... of that you can be certain

AuthorMessage
Avatar

ShadJV

8. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

Even good unions could mean longer development time and higher wages. That certainly wouldn't be good for the business, and it wouldn't be good for us - the gamers.

Are you saying developers don't deserve higher wages and should be worked into the ground? This is exactly why I left the industry, the average developer can hardly support a family or spend time with them. It's awfully selfish of you to deny the idea of unions simply because you are impatient for your games.

Personally, I'm all for the idea but I think it's something the developers need to push for if they want it. It's not our place to fight for or against this, we aren't in the industry. Still, I would encourage this in any industry, hard working employees do deserve a good pay and to be treated fairly, especially when here in the US unemployed who contribute nothing to society are given free money to do as they please with. These are diligent workers, they deserve to be respected, but that's something they have to fight for.

Feel free to add me on the Nintendo Network: ShadJV
Here's my 3DS FC, always looking for Pokemon X Friend Safaris: 2191-7643-5167
Peace!

AuthorMessage
Avatar

The_Fox

9. Posted:

@Shad JV
Let's not try and derail the thread.

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

-President John Adams

Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

AuthorMessage
Avatar

ShadJV

10. Posted:

The_Fox wrote:

@Shad JV
Let's not try and derail the thread.

How am I derailing it? I'm talking about whether game designers should unionize.

Feel free to add me on the Nintendo Network: ShadJV
Here's my 3DS FC, always looking for Pokemon X Friend Safaris: 2191-7643-5167
Peace!

AuthorMessage
Avatar

The_Fox

11. Posted:

ShadJV wrote:

The_Fox wrote:

@Shad JV
Let's not try and derail the thread.

How am I derailing it? I'm talking about whether game designers should unionize.

I was referring to the statement about the unemployed. As you've noticed it doesn't take much to derails things around here. Or on the internet in general, for that matter.

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

-President John Adams

Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

AuthorMessage
AvatarAdmin

theblackdragon

12. Posted:

Probably the same reason Wal-Mart workers haven't unionized — they're too easily replaced. The market is glutted with programmers and designers right now, especially with the recent layoffs and studio closures. It's a shame, but whaddayagonnado.

BEST THREAD EVER
future of NL >:3
[16:43] James: I should learn these site rules more clearly
[16:44] LztheBlehBird: James doesn't know the rules? For shame!!!
[16:44] Vintage: We have rules?
[16:44] Reala: don't expose the staff to sunlight, don't get them wet and don't feed them after midnight

3DS Friend Code: 3136-6802-7042 | Nintendo Network ID: gentlemen_cat | Twitter: theblackdragon

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Token_Girl

13. Posted:

@V8

I'd imagine part of the reason they haven't organized like other artists, actors, writers, etc. is because, unlike those fields, programming is an easily transferrable skill that's highly valued. When they get sick of the hours/pay that game developing entails, instead of organizing, they probably just leave and work regular hours as a database admin or web designer or something and make bank. If development companies in America are in right-to-work states, employers can fire someone trying to organize a union with no questions asked. Why bother fighting the fight when they can take their skills elsewhere and get 100k for regular hours (and if they're still passionate about game development, start making iPhone apps in their spare time, which they now have, and try to get their own studio going)?

Edited on by Token_Girl

I am way too lazy to think of something clever.
My Backloggery
Pokemon Platinum FC: 0517 9582 3270
Pokemon SS FC: 4512 4783 5710
Mario Kart DS FC: 4211 7712 2928

AuthorMessage
Avatar

ShadJV

14. Posted:

Token_Girl wrote:

@V8

I'd imagine part of the reason they haven't organized like other artists, actors, writers, etc. is because, unlike those fields, programming is an easily transferrable skill that's highly valued. When they get sick of the hours/pay that game developing entails, instead of organizing, they probably just leave and work regular hours as a database admin or web designer or something and make bank. If development companies in America are in right-to-work states, employers can fire someone trying to organize a union with no questions asked. Why bother fighting the fight when they can take their skills elsewhere and get 100k for regular hours (and if they're still passionate about game development, start making iPhone apps in their spare time, which they now have, and try to get their own studio going)?

The thing is, most game designers these days do more than program. The industry values a broader skillset so each employee can do a bit of everything. It lowers the number of employees needed and makes it easier to bridge all the aspects of design together. As such, many going into the "game design" field are expected to know programming, graphic design, writing, and sometimes even networking and audio editing. As such, many of these employees have trouble finding work outside the field due to being overqualified for most other programming jobs. Of course, game design programs at colleges are becoming more popular so, either way, the industry is getting flooded. As such, many newcomers are becoming easily replaceable and likely are afraid to complain since there's hundreds of others in line to take their jobs.

Feel free to add me on the Nintendo Network: ShadJV
Here's my 3DS FC, always looking for Pokemon X Friend Safaris: 2191-7643-5167
Peace!

AuthorMessage
Avatar

shingi_70

15. Posted:

Doesn't the way the movie/TV industry work make it easier to unionize?

But it would help when you look at how devs are treated and overworked during chrunchtime.

But like black cat said its a pretty Violate industry if your anything but a first party developer (343,Naughty Dog, or EAD Tokyo). Even then that doesn't always workout (Ensemble and Studio Liverpool sadly come to mind)

Also there isn't that many cases of work for hire in the games industry as compared to the movie/TV industries.

WAT!

Hey check out my awesome new youtube channel shingi70 where I update weekly on the latest gaming and comic news form a level headed perspective.

3DS Friend Code: 3093-7342-3454 | Nintendo Network ID: shingi70

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Tasuki

16. Posted:

In truth unions aren't needed anymore. They cause more trouble than they're worth. Just look at what happened to Hostess.

Pushsquare moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

Nintendo Network ID: Tasuki311

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Bankai

17. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

Even good unions could mean longer development time and higher wages. That certainly wouldn't be good for the business, and it wouldn't be good for us - the gamers.

Digitally Downloaded - best darned game site on the web ;-)

AuthorMessage
Avatar

Bankai

18. Posted:

ShadJV wrote:

CanisWolfred wrote:

Even good unions could mean longer development time and higher wages. That certainly wouldn't be good for the business, and it wouldn't be good for us - the gamers.

Are you saying developers don't deserve higher wages and should be worked into the ground? This is exactly why I left the industry, the average developer can hardly support a family or spend time with them. It's awfully selfish of you to deny the idea of unions simply because you are impatient for your games.

Personally, I'm all for the idea but I think it's something the developers need to push for if they want it. It's not our place to fight for or against this, we aren't in the industry. Still, I would encourage this in any industry, hard working employees do deserve a good pay and to be treated fairly, especially when here in the US unemployed who contribute nothing to society are given free money to do as they please with. These are diligent workers, they deserve to be respected, but that's something they have to fight for.

Hah. If unions forced wages up and shorter working hours (thus lower productivity) then there will be a lot more unemployed developers taking "free money from the government"

I'm not saying its necessarily fair or right for it to happen, but unions forcing development companies to run more expensively with no additional returns is going to achieve one thing, and one thing alone: fewer jobs and more bankrupt developers.

I'm sure the families of the out of work and unable to find new work developers will love having mommy or daddy around 24/7

Edited on by Bankai

Digitally Downloaded - best darned game site on the web ;-)

AuthorMessage
Avatar

CanisWolfred

19. Posted:

The_Fox wrote:

@Shad JV
Let's not try and derail the thread.

I'm not really interested in arguing his point, anyways, though I see Bankai has decided to take it up.

Anyways, just popped in to say that I think TBD and Token_girl made some very good points, I don't think I even need to expand on them.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

Doesn't talk about games.

Avid Fan of Anime, Webcomics, and Wolves
My Den - My door is always open....Too bad it's an empty closet.
My DeviantArt - I like to call it "the blank wall"

Wolfrun
Wolfrun Chibi

Arooo~

AuthorMessage
Avatar

the_shpydar

20. Posted:

As i have a general dislike of modern-day unions (despite the fact that that most of my family are teachers, and thus union members), i certainly hope it doesn't ever happen. That said, i would not be surprised if we do in fact one day see a "Game Developers Guild", or something like that, here in the U.S.

The Shpydarloggery
She-Ra is awesome. If you believe otherwise, you are clearly wrong. Also, Lindsey Stirling. Because violin awesomeness.
Current E.T. count: 23 Copies. 2 Sealed, 7 CIB, 3 Boxed, 11 Loose.

3DS Friend Code: 2578-3211-9319 | Nintendo Network ID: theShpydar