Earlier in July, CD Projekt RED laid off nearly 1/10 of its developers. This made the studio part of the struggling industry, with layoffs left and right. Other prominent examples of recent layoffs include Epic Games and Naughty Dog.
In the case of CD Projekt RED, the studio laid off developers three times in three months, leading to concerns from the studio’s staff. This resulted in the formation of a union by Polish developers, with the Cyberpunk 2077 team also joining this endeavor.
Why it matters: The downsizing of the workforce has caused a sense of ambiguity among developers. However, the recent drive towards unionization has provided some reprieve to the developers.
The union was made as a consequence of the approximately 100 layoffs at CD Projekt RED in July.
These frequent job cuts created an unhealthy environment for the developers, leading to mental issues like depression and insecurity from the looming threat of another round of layoffs.
The newly established union is a branch of OZZ IP, a nationwide union in Poland that accepts game developers from the country, aiming to provide support for its members and a platform for exchanging knowledge.
Through this move, the developers hope to secure their position in the industry. The union explained that coming together would allow game developers to make a difference in the structuring and decision-making process of the studio.
However, it is important to note that the union does not cover CD Projekt RED employees who work in Vancouver or those who are not under a Polish contract.
We believe unionization is an excellent step for developers as it has various pros, like collaborations among developers from different backgrounds and teams. It also provides job security for the developers and solace from mental distress, which is of immense importance during the current landscape.
Additionally, uniting against unfair decisions will help developers ensure their voices are heard and any mistreatment is avoided in the future.
While unions are unlikely to eliminate layoffs entirely, they can help the industry move toward a better future.
CD Projekt RED has many important projects lined up for the future, including the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 4. Therefore, retaining talented developers will be extremely important for the studio in the next few years.
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Bawal is an MBBS student by day and a gaming journalist by night. He has been gaming since childhood, growing fond of the creativity and innovation of the industry. His career as a gaming journalist started one year ago, and his journey has allowed him to write reviews, previews, and features for various sites. Bawal has also been cited in reputed websites such as Screenrant, PCGamesN, WCCFTech, GamesRadar, and more.