The video game industry is richer than it has ever been. Its revenue in 2018 was .8 billion, a recent report estimated, thanks in large part to hugely popular games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. These record-breaking profits could have led one to think that the people who develop video games had it made. But then the blood bath began.
In February, Call of Duty’s publisher, Activision Blizzard, laid off 8 percent of its staff, or nearly 800 workers, in a cost-cutting massacre. A few weeks later, the game studio ArenaNet cut dozens of positions, while smaller layoffs hit companies like Valve and the digital store operator GOG. And just last week, the video game giant Electronic Arts announced that it was laying off 350 people across the globe.
This brutal start to 2019 followed the closures of major game companies like Telltale, the makers of games based on The Walking Dead, and Capcom Vancouver, the large studio behind the popular action series Dead Rising in 2018. All in all, thousands of video game workers have lost their jobs in the past 12 months.
In many of these cases, laid-off employees had no idea what was coming. One developer at a major studio told me in February that he and his colleagues had been crunching — putting in long hours, including nights and weekends — for a video game release, only to be suddenly told that security was waiting to escort them off the premises.
Worker exploitation has always been part of the video game industry’s DNA. Executives with multimillion-dollar stock packages often treat their employees like Tetris pieces, to be put into place as efficiently as possible, then promptly disposed of. For many kids who grew up with controllers in their hands, being a game developer is a dream job, so when it comes to talent, supply is higher than demand. Some people who make video games receive decent salaries and benefits (experienced programmers at the richest studios can make six figures), but many do not.
Quality assurance testers — those who play a game repeatedly in order to spot glitches before they’re found by consumers — can make as little as an hour. For those living in expensive cities like Los Angeles, working extensive overtime can be the only way to make ends meet.
By comparison, Activision Blizzard’s chief executive, Bobby Kotick, made .6 million in 2017, a package that included cash, stock and other compensation. That was 306 times the median Activision Blizzard employee’s salary.
There’s only one way for these workers to push back against the way they’re exploited while franchises like Call of Duty churn out money for those at the very top: unionization.
The idea of unionization in the video game industry only recently started to build momentum. In 2018, the grass-roots organization Game Workers Unite began encouraging game studio employees across the world to unionize. At the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last month, union organizers hosted several sessions on how workers might start unions at their own companies. They also passed around cards comparing the salaries of industry executives to those of the developers who work under them. One stated that Andrew Wilson, chief executive of Electronic Arts, made .7 million in 2018, while the average worker at his company got ,336. Another said that Tim Sweeney, chief executive of Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, has a net worth of over billion.
So far, progress has been slow. While game workers have become more likely to voice support for unionization on social media and in private gatherings, no major studio in the United States has seen an attempt to organize yet.
I don’t work in video games, but as a journalist who writes about them and is part of a union, I’ve seen the benefits of organization firsthand. In 2018, our union was able to negotiate the layoffs many of my colleagues faced into buyouts. Like journalists, workers in the video game industry will be better off when they are able to leverage their talent and experience to demand better conditions from the executives who profit off their work.
One common argument by critics of unionization is that it won’t prevent layoffs or studio shutdowns. It won’t automatically provide money to struggling companies or force Mr. Kotick to take a lower salary. That’s true, of course. But unions will open lines of communication between workers and management. Unions will allow video game workers to negotiate guaranteed severance packages, mandatory paid overtime, stronger benefits, better salaries, notification before layoffs and fair crediting policies.
Another argument is that if American workers unionize, companies will just turn to cheaper countries. Anyone who’s ever glanced at a video game’s credits section knows that companies are already doing that to some extent. But it would be prohibitively expensive for a company like Activision to simply pack up shop and move all of its developers from North America and Europe to a cheaper area, not just in cash but in terms of lost institutional knowledge. Besides, in the ideal version of this scenario, game developer shops all across the world would also be organizing, allowing them all to stand in solidarity together.
Right now, all of the power belongs to Bobby Kotick, Andrew Wilson and their fellow rich video game executives. There’s only one real way to change that.
Jason Schreier is the news editor at Kotaku and the author of “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made.”
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.B:
东方心经马报第50期【她】【这】【话】【就】【是】【明】【确】【告】【诉】【虚】【神】“【我】【明】【白】【你】【穿】【成】【这】【样】【的】【用】【意】【了】”，【好】【了】，【入】【正】【题】【吧】。 【虚】【神】【的】【道】【行】【不】【在】【她】【之】【下】，【闻】【言】【自】【然】【也】【笑】【得】【和】【善】，【温】【声】【细】【语】【道】：“【并】【无】【要】【事】。【不】【过】【天】【尊】【大】【人】【既】【然】【将】【神】【庭】【内】【的】【事】【务】【交】【与】【我】【手】，【日】【常】【的】【巡】【视】【自】【然】【不】【能】【懈】【怠】。” “【嗯】？”【白】【玲】【珑】【略】【一】【思】【忖】。 【原】【本】【黎】【天】【就】【对】【虚】【神】【委】【以】【重】【任】，【内】【部】【事】【务】【都】【交】
【大】【明】【王】【朝】【的】【夜】【晚】【也】【是】【丰】【富】【多】【彩】，【哪】【怕】【已】【是】【半】【夜】，【出】【来】【寻】【花】【问】【柳】，【过】【着】【上】【等】【人】【夜】【色】【活】【的】【人】【们】，【现】【在】【正】【是】【他】【们】【醉】【生】【梦】【死】【的】【时】【候】。 【王】【城】【内】，【一】【处】【大】【宅】【子】【中】，【几】【人】【披】【麻】【戴】【孝】，【几】【人】【小】【声】【哭】【泣】。 【灵】【堂】【中】，【一】【女】【小】【声】【哭】【泣】，【一】【边】【哭】【着】【一】【边】【对】【着】【身】【边】【的】【男】【子】【问】【道】：“【父】【亲】【和】【弟】【弟】，【都】【惨】【死】【在】【唐】【建】【手】【中】，【在】【霸】【下】【城】【我】【们】【不】【好】【下】【手】，
【白】【依】【心】【里】【转】【着】【念】【头】，【牵】【着】【青】【娘】【的】【手】，【跟】【着】【嬷】【嬷】【一】【行】【人】【来】【到】【正】【院】。 【正】【院】【里】，【靠】【近】【门】【口】【的】【地】【方】【站】【了】【好】【些】【婆】【子】【媳】【妇】。 【还】【没】【走】【进】【去】，【就】【听】【见】【里】【面】【传】【出】【严】【厉】【的】【呵】【斥】。 【借】【着】【等】【通】【报】【的】【时】【间】，【白】【依】【转】【着】【眼】【珠】，【看】【着】【躬】【身】【听】【着】【训】【斥】，【噤】【若】【寒】【蝉】【的】【众】【人】，【勾】【了】【勾】【唇】。 【打】【发】【婆】【子】【迎】【人】，【还】【弄】【一】【院】【子】【的】【人】【来】。 【这】【是】【给】【她】【摆】【下】
【元】【旦】【前】【夕】。 【公】【司】【没】【有】【放】【假】，【甚】【至】【在】【晚】【上】【时】，【都】【有】【部】【分】【职】【员】【在】【忙】【着】【加】【班】，【不】【过】【都】【是】【已】【经】【安】【排】【好】【的】【工】【作】，【像】【罗】【君】【宁】、【崔】【胜】【雅】【就】【能】【够】【享】【受】【一】【下】【安】【静】【的】【夜】【晚】——【如】【果】【没】【有】【意】【外】【发】【生】【的】【话】。 【可】【惜】，【暂】【时】【是】【没】【有】【其】【它】【女】【朋】【友】【了】。 “【欧】【巴】，【我】【新】【学】【的】【糕】【点】，【你】【尝】【尝】？” 【卸】【去】【平】【时】【的】【精】【明】【与】【强】【势】，【崔】【胜】【雅】【变】【回】【了】【那】【个】【黏】【人】
【现】【在】【哪】【怕】【是】【面】【对】【九】【阶】【陆】【地】【武】【王】，【清】【风】【也】【有】【足】【够】【的】【把】【握】，【不】【落】【下】【风】，【虽】【然】【有】【可】【能】【无】【法】【战】【胜】【对】【方】，【但】【自】【保】【还】【是】【没】【有】【任】【何】【问】【题】【的】。 【现】【在】【的】【秦】【峰】【可】【以】【说】【是】【天】【下】【之】【大】，【无】【处】【不】【可】【去】，。【天】【下】【之】【间】，【除】【了】【那】【有】【数】【的】【强】【者】【以】【外】，【再】【无】【任】【何】【人】，【能】【对】【他】【产】【生】【丝】【毫】【的】【威】【胁】，【这】【就】【是】【秦】【峰】【的】【自】【信】，【他】【有】【足】【够】【的】【自】【信】，【面】【对】【任】【何】【突】【发】【情】【况】【和】【危】东方心经马报第50期“【咦】，【大】【舅】【子】【买】【了】【件】【魔】【宗】？” 【导】【播】【给】【镜】【头】【很】【早】，【加】【上】【刚】【刚】【林】【轩】【第】【一】【次】【回】【城】【更】【新】【装】【备】【的】【时】【候】，【十】【字】【镐】【的】【出】【装】【就】【引】【起】【了】【张】【飞】【和】【汪】【飞】【两】【个】【人】【的】【讨】【论】，【所】【以】【林】【轩】【刚】【在】【泉】【水】【里】【购】【买】【出】【来】【了】【这】【个】【装】【备】，【小】【樱】【就】【第】【一】【时】【间】【注】【意】【到】【了】。 【刚】【刚】【讨】【论】【完】【刚】【刚】【下】【路】【混】【战】【的】【张】【飞】【和】【汪】【飞】【两】【人】【定】【睛】【一】【看】，【果】【然】【看】【到】【卡】【莎】【的】【装】【备】【栏】【里】【面】，【赫】【然】【出】
【车】【上】 【两】【人】【沉】【默】【了】【好】【一】【会】【儿】，【车】【已】【经】【驶】【了】【好】【远】，【叶】【薇】【这】【才】【发】【现】【这】【不】【是】【回】【景】【氏】【的】【路】，“【你】【不】【回】【景】【氏】【吗】？” “【回】！” “【那】【你】【怎】【么】【开】【这】【条】【路】，【这】【条】【路】【不】【直】【通】【景】【氏】【那】【头】【的】！” “【先】【送】【你】【回】【去】！”，【景】【司】【淡】【定】【开】【口】！ “【啊】？”，【叶】【薇】【感】【觉】【自】【己】【智】【商】【不】【在】【线】【了】，【不】【是】【她】【送】【他】【的】【吗】？ “【我】【怕】【你】【这】【迟】【钝】【的】【反】【应】，【万】
【这】【段】【时】【间】【休】【息】【了】【一】【下】，【忙】【了】【忙】【家】【里】【的】【事】【情】，【顺】【便】【好】【好】【陪】【陪】【孩】【子】，【虽】【然】【还】【没】【有】【忙】【完】，【但】【是】【也】【差】【不】【多】【了】。 《【轮】【回】【游】【戏】【世】【界】》【这】【本】【书】【我】【有】【很】【多】【地】【方】【做】【的】【很】【不】【好】，【到】【了】【火】【影】【卷】【之】【后】【剧】【情】【崩】【溃】，【没】【有】【大】【纲】，【问】【题】【实】【在】【太】【多】【了】，【我】【会】【改】【进】【的】。 【新】【书】【我】【会】【好】【好】【准】【备】【一】【下】，【做】【一】【个】【大】【纲】【和】【一】【些】【规】【划】，【不】【知】【道】【有】【没】【有】【用】，【但】【是】【总】【要】【比】
【谢】【憬】【淮】【拉】【着】【突】【然】【失】【魂】【落】【魄】【的】【女】【子】【进】【了】【曲】【院】【街】【南】【面】【的】【遇】【仙】【楼】，【让】【小】【二】【安】【排】【了】【一】【间】【上】【房】【又】【点】【了】【店】【里】【招】【牌】【的】【酒】【和】【一】【些】【从】【食】。 【小】【二】【细】【细】【的】【记】【了】【下】【来】，【到】【退】【出】【厢】【房】【时】【也】【不】【曾】【有】【意】【探】【寻】【的】【看】【过】【白】【卿】【安】【一】【眼】。 “【对】【不】【住】，【让】【你】【看】【笑】【话】【了】。”【手】【里】【还】【捏】【着】【那】【张】【剪】【纸】【画】【的】【白】【卿】【安】【此】【时】【已】【将】【心】【情】【平】【复】【下】【来】，【随】【手】【在】【脸】【上】【揩】【了】【两】【把】【将】【眼】【泪】