Former Blizzard employee, ArenaNet co-founder and Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain wrote a letter advocating union within the gaming industry to his employees. He called for the formation of a union with full support.
Following IGN’s report on the status of its deployment in Activision Blizzard as a result of the bomb proceedings, Strain has been granted permission to share with IGN the letter he sent to employees of the new company and make it fully public below. ..
Strain, titled “It’s Time,” joined Blizzard as a game programmer in 1996, then worked on StarCraft, Diablo, and briefly joined as a World of Warcraft team lead and lead programmer, but recently against Blizzard. He said the lawsuit did not surprise him. Even early in the company’s history, the culture eventually left him and co-founded ArenaNet.
“This week’s Activision Blizzard disclosure made me sick and repulsed, but I wasn’t surprised at all,” Strain wrote. “I joined Blizzard at a very early stage as a game programmer when I had dozens of employees in 1996.”
Strain left Blizzard in 1998 after having a cataclysmic meeting with one of the founders over the dissenting opinion that the beta version of Diablo dismantled and pushed a part of a woman’s body. I started planning. Eventually, I joined a few like-minded colleagues and set up an independent studio 1000 miles away from Blizzard’s reach. “
Throughout his 25-year career, Strain states that similar stories from developers within the industry are a constant cycle, and these are chronic problems within the gaming industry. To this end, Strain called for unionization.
“I’m an entrepreneur and a veteran of three successful independent studio startups. I’m familiar with the financial, legal, contractual, and organizational aspects of game development, and I’m afraid of unions. Some companies pay their employees fairly and equitably, provide quality health insurance, model respect and politeness for women, POC and LGBTQ + employees, and support healthy whole life insurance. There is none.”
Letter to the video game industry “It’s Time”
Here is the full text of Strain’s letter
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