The logo for Game Workers Australia, which will be the first Australian gaming union

First Australian Gaming Union Coming Next Year

December 8, 2021

By: Joseph Allen

 
 

Australia is getting its first dedicated gaming union next year. The Australian branch of Game Workers Unite is rebranding as Game Workers Australia, a trade union that will offer several membership tiers including a base tier at no cost.

What do we know about this new Australian gaming union?

Game Workers Unite announced the change in a post on its official website. Game Workers Australia will be an official division of Professionals Australia, an all-encompassing science and tech union. It will offer tiered membership packages, with each tier carrying different benefits. There will be a free membership tier available to anyone from a relevant Australian business who wishes to join. Prior to this change, Game Workers Unite Australia was merely an advisory and support body, but it will now be a fully-fledged union.

 

Link running through a volcano in Skyward Sword HD
Major Australian gaming companies include Skyward Sword HD developer Tantalus Media and legendary mobile studio Halfbrick, among others.

Right now, Game Workers Australia is in its infancy. The union doesn't have a concrete launch date yet, although you can still join Game Workers Unite Australia if you're an Australian gaming professional and you're so inclined. In addition, the union will soon be creating a new website, as well as a growth roadmap, a full plan for how it intends to transition into its new status, and a new sign-up form, among other things.

What could an Australian gaming union mean for workers?

When part of a union, workers have support and advice they may not otherwise enjoy. Major companies are often held to account by unions; earlier this year, Activision Blizzard was the subject of a union complaint regarding labor laws. You may also recall the French union Solidaires Informatique, who sued Ubisoft regarding its toxic culture of harassment and misogyny, or perhaps the Paizo union, which was officially recognized by Paizo in October of this year. Unions can be a highly politicized issue; former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders lent his support to the US arm of the Game Workers Unite organization during his campaign.

 
 
A range of Ubisoft games
Unions have been responsible for taking huge gaming companies like Ubisoft to task over working conditions.

It remains to be seen where Game Workers Australia will go from here, but one thing's for sure: the gaming landscape in Australia is bound to change as a result of its formation. It's set to launch sometime in 2022, although we don't have a more specific window than that. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it, but in the meantime, you can stay abreast of developments regarding Game Workers Australia right here. Let's hope conditions for Australian gaming workers improve as a result of this change.

Will you be signing up to Game Workers Australia when the time comes? Let us know in the comments below!