The world of tabletop gaming has just taken a big step forward. In a surprising move, Paizo Publishing, the studio behind the fantasy tabletop RPG Pathfinder, has officially recognized the United Paizo Workers union.
As we have reported on before, the United Paizo Workers union is a group comprised of over 30 employees at Paizo. This is the very first tabletop game developer union ever to form. In addition, this union is affiliated with the Communication Workers of America, which helps keep those in communications fields informed and united in solidarity. Furthermore, Paizo is one of the most prolific studios in the tabletop industry. They made a big splash in 2002 with their work on Pathfinder and have only grown since then with a second edition of their acclaimed RPG, new classes and supplements for their sci-fi RPG Starfinder, and really well regarded licensed CRPGs based on their properties.
Now, Paizo has released an official statement. They will be voluntarily recognizing the United Paizo Workers union. Paizo's CEO Jeff Alverez stated, "We look forward to working with the union to continue and expand our efforts to make Paizo a better place to work and to ensure that Pathfinder and Starfinder products continue to exceed gamer expectations for many years to come."
The next course of action is for the United Paizo Workers to elect bargaining representatives. Next, they will meet with members of Paizo's management to negotiate terms for a collective bargaining agreement.
It cannot be understated how monumental this will be for the industry going forward. What the United Paizo Workers are doing can set industry-wide precedents going forward for the entire tabletop gaming industry, as they are the first Tabletop RPG Union. Overall it would mean more leaders made more accountable, stable employment for those who work hard to create the fantastic worlds and settings players love, and an overall healthier work environment.