Games

North America now has its first Game Industry Alliance

The first North American video game studio founded a few months, if not years, on an industry controversy over workers’ rights.


Beast breaker vodeo game

The video game industry is at a critical juncture right now, or at least approaching it quickly. The struggles related to gender discrimination and harassment, rude behavior and disparity between executives/managers and game developers are leading to a more active conversation about workers’ rights and unions. With that in mind, it probably comes as no surprise to confirm that North America’s first video game industry alliance has been formed.

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The first studio to unite in the North American video game industry is named Vodeo game, founded Vodeo Workers United. Vodeo was founded in 2021 by Three people, Guildlings, and Puzzlejuice creator Asher Vollmer, with a team of 13 according to the studio’s website. Vodeo focuses on games that are “small, close” and easy to “collapse”. Vodeo’s first game, Beast Breaker, released on PC and Nintendo Switch in September, and the team has been hard at work on its second project.

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In a statement released Wednesday morning, Vollmer announced that the company has voluntarily recognized the formation of the studio union. Vollmer said the step back was “unquestionable” and was “proud to see them do what no other game company in North America can.” The young studio has been described by Vollmer as a proud professional employee since its inception, with four-day work week, unlimited days off with enforced minimums, and a fully remote studio space. Even with this progressive studio arrangement, Vollmer says the company is not only open but actively discussing options for improvement.


Vodeo designer Carolyn Jong spoke to Polygon about the team’s unification efforts, saying that some were inspired by other alliance efforts in the game. Specifically, Jong mentioned Voltage Organized workers, a group of contract writers for mobile apps Lovestruck was organized to receive a substantial pay raise (although not officially a union), and the United Paizo Workers, who worked on Pathfinder pen and paper game officially recognized in mid-October.

What’s next for Vodeo and Vodeo worker United are formal contract negotiations to finalize the studio’s current interests and the language to ensure an equal working environment. Vodeo Workers United is working with the Federation of Communications Workers of America, which is also working with a group Developer Activision Blizzard, to ensure a smooth merge attempt.


Some may try to minimize Vodeo’s achievement due to the age and size of the studio, but the significance of its consolidation cannot be underestimated. First Officially Recognized Vodeo video game industry union in North America, soon consolidated some of the most progressive worker rights of any union in the country. It not only serves as an example of what is possible for developers across the country, but also makes it a reality. Needless to say, recruiting at Vodeo likely to see an increase.

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