Employees at IGN, the biggest video game journalism outlet in the world, has announced that they have voted to unionize, forming the IGN Creators Guild with the NewsGuild-CWA labor union.
The guild consists of over 80 employees, making it one of the largest unionized gaming media outlets. 87% of the eligible members signed union authorization cards. IGN’s parent company, Ziff Davis, also has a union with NewsGuild-CWA, but the two will exist separately.
The guild released a mission statement along with a petition for IGN and Ziff Davis management to voluntarily recognize the union. “Given our industry is mired in uncertainty,” the statement reads, referring to layoffs across both the gaming and journalism industry, “it is urgent that IGN’s workers have an equal voice at the bargaining table in determining how to weather difficulties and build a thriving workplace.”
The union is advocating for fair and competitive pay, affordable health insurance, protection against layoffs, protection against generative AI, and improved diversity.
“In the last year alone, our teams have put on remarkable coverage against unbelievable odds,” the statement continues. “We developed an incredible and unique live-show at a San Diego Comic Con without actors or writers. Our video and editorial teams moved mountains for multiple massive releases and events, including when the most anticipated game trailer of the year leaked early, topping the YouTube charts after a seemingly impossible turn-around. And we continue to put forth unbeatable and groundbreaking original reporting amidst a neverending news cycle across mediums.”
“It is in that same spirit and drive that we form this union now. We stand together in solidarity with one another in a fight for better wages, earned comp time that is supported and enforced, reasonable protections against layoffs, and fair compensation when they cannot be avoided. We believe in IGN because we believe in each other, and we stand before management now requesting voluntary recognition of our unit, as well as the willingness to negotiate in good faith when the time comes,” it concludes.
“IGN is an incredible place to work! But so many of the talented creators that make it so incredible need more support than they’re currently getting, especially when it comes to competitive pay and adequate time off,” senior reporter Rebekah Valentine told Variety. “And at a time when our industry faces so much uncertainty amid mass layoffs and the rise of generative AI, it’s more important than ever for us to ensure IGN remains a great place to work not just today, but for the future IGN that doesn’t exist yet.”
Guild members hope that this will inspire solidarity in other outlets. Executive reviews editor Tom Marks spoke to Aftermath, a site formed by laid-off journalists, saying “There is loads of exceptional reporting, criticism, and creative work happening around games right now, but games journalism is still in its infancy compared to more traditional media in many ways – the relatively limited number of unionized games media sites compared to unionized print newsrooms is one clear example of this.”
“Obviously we won’t be the only ones, but you’re right that we will be one of the largest, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope this inspires other folk to ask for their own seat at the table,” he continued.
Senior producer and host Max Scoville gave a statement to Variety, emphasizing the work done by the team. “I’m immensely proud of this team, and want the best for all of us,” he said. “IGN is already an industry leader in entertainment media, but it’s crucial that we ensure it also continues to be a bastion for the human beings who give it a voice.”