The 2019 Game Developers Conference published the results of their seventh annual state of the industry survey two days ago. The report added two new questions this time, should the games industry unionize? and will the games industry unionize?. Almost 4000 developers participated in the survey and nearly 50% of them believed that game industry workers should unionize. GDC 2019 is scheduled to take place March 18-22 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.
47 percent gamers said yes when asked whether they thought game industry workers should unionize; 26 percent said maybe, 16 percent said no, and 11 percent said they didn’t know. However, figures fell when it came to actual implementation. When asked whether they think video game workers actually will unionize, only 21 percent said yes. 39 percent said “maybe.” 24 percent of respondents said they don’t think it will happen, and 15 percent said that they don’t know. One developer responded saying, “There is too much supply: too many people want into the industry. Those who unionize will be shoved out of the way as companies hire those with fewer demands.”
The gaming industry has been abuzz with talks of unionization for quite some time now. Game Workers Unite, is a democratic organization fighting for union rights and gathering support for unionization in the gaming industry. Last year, in December, a UK chapter of Game Workers Unite became a legal trade union.
Developers were also asked what PC/Mac game storefronts they sell their games on. The most popular answer was Steam, with roughly 47 percent saying that they sell games on Valve’s storefront. However, when asked if Steam still justifies its 30 percent cut, only 6 percent said yes, and 17 percent said maybe. On asking developers (both indie and professionals) how many hours they work per week on average, 44 percent of developers worked more than 40 hours per week. Almost 6 percent worked 76 to 80 hours, “suggesting that deadline-related crunch can go far beyond normal working hours,” according to the survey.