The idea of game developers unionising has been floated around quite a bit recently, specifically with the topic of ‘crunch’ periods becoming more prevalent. As part of a union, developers would be able to collectively bargain for better working conditions and benefits and according to the latest GDC survey, more industry workers are warming up to the idea.
The Game Developer Conference (GDC) runs annually and will often survey games industry folk to get broad opinions on a variety of topics. This year, the GDC ‘State of the Game’ survey indicated that 54 percent of industry workers support the idea of unionising, while 30 percent remain uncertain and 16 percent being against the idea.
Those results are based on roughly 4,000 responses, so it isn’t a perfect representation of the whole industry, but it is enough of a chunk to spark conversation. The survey also brings up some other interesting stats, like almost half of developers working more than 40 hours a week, with 20 percent working between 41 and 45 hours and 12 percent working close to 50 hours a week.
Given that the survey contains a mix of indie developers and those working at established studios, we should also keep in mind the survey results for “how many people work at your company”. For this one, 19 percent of respondents said they worked at a studio with more than 500 people, six percent estimated between 250 and 500, ten percent said they worked with between 101 and 250 people.
Another 19 percent of survey respondents said they worked by themselves, while 15 percent worked with between 2 and 5 people. With that in mind, you are getting a broad spectrum of answers when it comes to how many hours are worked, not just answers from those working at Triple A studios.
KitGuru Says: There are some other interesting areas to take a look at in this survey, including the number of developers working for next-gen consoles, which platforms best support cross-platform play and other tidbits. We’ll have a dig through and gather the best bits in another article.