Hello, and welcome to GYGO! I’m Kael Langdon, known servant of Big Labor, and I’m here to give you news and make your kids anti-capitalist. I haven’t been playing a lot of games recently, but I did get to try Moonlighter, which I loved (look, I’m a creature of many facets). I’ve also been working on gamifying my language acquisition, as I work my way towards proficiency in Japanese.
This week I have a selection of news and also some games related articles I just plain liked. Enjoy!
Blizzard’s French Workers Still Don’t Know if They’re Laid Off
Blizzard Versailles is eliminating 134 of its 400 positions, but employees don’t know which, leaving workers in a limbo state. French labor laws prevent mass layoffs on short notice, as happened last week in Activision-Blizzard’s American offices. This gives workers time to update their resumés and look for other jobs. This is an activity for most at the company, as it’s been reported few are aware of what positions are being eliminated.
Activision Blizzard Faces Repercussions
In response to Activision Blizzard’s massive layoffs, Game Worker’s Unite put together a petition calling for the firing of CEO Bobby Kotick. They claim Kotick made his money by stealing the wages of his workers, pointing to a $15 million bonus paid to Activision Blizzard’s CFO as a sign of mismanagement.
Ubisoft reports strong profits this year, doesn't fire 800 people https://t.co/XPqKArtI4y pic.twitter.com/rlsHCBv2G0
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) February 14, 2019
Not to sound like a broken record, but this is why organization is so important. There’ve been headlines going around praising other companies, such as Ubisoft, for not firing hundreds of workers in the midst of record-breaking profits. But, as pointed out by Jason Schreier, these headlines erase the context surrounding success stories. It is not safe, fair, or sustainable to rely on massive tax breaks and corporate good will to protect the livelihood of workers. Collective bargaining and organization pave the way for a fair future for all game creators.
Headlines like this are cute and all, but this piece doesn't tell the whole story – Ubisoft can grow and avoid layoffs because it gets many millions in tax credits from Canada. Only way workers can actually fight for stability and leverage is to organize https://t.co/EOM5dDZDoo
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 14, 2019
Union AFL-CIO Voices Support for Games Industry Organization Efforts
In an open letter penned by Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the organization stated open support for unionization in the games industry. AFL-CIO is the largest federation of unions in the United States and includes the Writers Guild of America, American Federation of Teachers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The work of organization still belongs to games workers, but hearing any future unions have a home is a cause for hope.
In Other News
- GaymerX East 2019 Canceled Due to Unforeseen Venue Issues
- Roll20 Accounts Included In Large Data Breach
- Anthem Is Now in Early Access
- Most Expensive Video Game Ever Sold Sells For $100,150
- Gritty Surprises the Overwatch League
- Yet Another Study Finds No Correlation Between Video Game Violence and Teen Aggression
- Fornite Dance Lawsuits Continue
- You Can Build TVs in Minecraft Now
Not news but…
- Final Fantasy VIII Was too Honest and Unsettling to Be Beloved
- In Defense of Videogame Selfies
- Every Fake Game in Kingdom Hearts 3 Reviewed
A genderless eldritch beast bound to mortal flesh. Interests include games, gardening, magical realism, and the complete restructuring of America’s political and economic systems. Frequently orders too much food at restaurants. Tweets @unnnez.