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IGN Is Forming A Union

Dubbed the IGN Creators Guild, this is one of the largest unionized games journalism outlets in existence.

12:00 PM EST on February 6, 2024

the logo of the IGN creators guild
IGN Creators Guild

Workers at video game outlet IGN announced they’re unionizing Tuesday, with a supermajority of support from editorial and creative workers. With around 80 members in the unit, the union would be one of the largest unionized games journalism outlets in existence.

IGN’s union, dubbed the IGN Creators Guild, is unionizing with the News Guild. IGN’s parent company, Ziff Davis, currently has another union, the Ziff Davis Creators Guild, also affiliated with the News Guild. 

“We need fair and competitive pay for all, including those who are asked to live and work in some of the most expensive cities in the United States; affordable health insurance; and better diversity, equity, and inclusion across the board,” the Guild wrote in their mission statement. “We need protection against layoffs amid a hectic media landscape, guarantees of reasonable compensation when those layoffs cannot be avoided, as well as protections against generative AI and similar technologies.”

Max Scoville, a senior video producer and host who has worked at IGN for nine years, wrote in a press release that while he’s immensely proud of the work he and his colleagues have done, it’s time for the company to evolve.

“IGN is already an industry leader in entertainment media,” Scoville wrote, “but it’s crucial that we ensure it also continues to be a bastion for the human beings who give it a voice."

IGN’s unionization comes after a rough few years for journalism, particularly games. In the recent past, Tencent laid off most of the staff at its gaming vertical Fanbyte. After Vice laid me off in 2022, it went on to shutter gaming vertical Waypoint the following year. Last year, The Washington Post shuttered its gaming vertical Launcher, where two co-founders of Aftermath worked. (Vice, as well as Aftermath staff’s previous site Kotaku, were unionized with the Writers Guild of America East. Launcher, as well as The Washington Post, were unionized under the News Guild.)

“The news of all the layoffs that have been happening in 2023 and already in 2024 have definitely been on the forefront of our minds, especially after we had our own layoffs in 2022,” video editor Chelsea Reed Miller told Aftermath. “But we also feel that the best time to form a union is when things are good. We all love our job and we want to make sure the things we love about it stay."

“I'm lucky to have a great manager who had to deal with me completely melting down for like 48 hours after the L.A. Times layoffs,” streaming editor Amelia Emberwing told Aftermath. “There are days where it's just impossible to operate while watching your industry crumble around you while the world itself is also a mess. There's just no reprieve from any of it right now."

IGN is an enormously popular site—in a press release, the Guild said that according to analytics from SEMrush, the site boasted 479 million monthly viewers in December alone. Guild members hope that unionizing can inspire solidarity—and unionization—across the broader industry.

“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,” executive reviews editor Tom Marks told Aftermath. “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.”

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