Sega of America employees successfully unionize in ‘watershed moment’ for the games industry

After voting in favor in 2023, workers at Sega of America have ratified a union contract, which will affect roughly 150 employees throughout the company.

As reported by Bloomberg on March 27, workers across multiple departments will now receive several benefits, including minimum yearly pay increases until 2026. Furthermore, SEGA must give notice ahead of any layoffs and provide at least two weeks’ severance to affected employees.

Classic and Modern Sonic flying through the air
A huge win for workers. Screenshot via Sega YouTube

This is frankly a big deal for the games industry since this marks the first time employees of a North American video game company have successfully ratified a union contract, which was done so on March 26. In a statement, Catalina Brennan-Gatica, a representative for the Communications Workers of America, called this “a watershed moment for workers in the video game industry.”

The union, dubbed the Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA, was formed in the summer of 2023 and already made history by being the largest multi-department video game union. It’s especially good to hear the union’s been officially recognized considering there were allegations of SEGA threatening to fire employees specifically for unionizing.

With any luck, this example will contribute to the labor movement, and encourage more studios to follow suit. One member, Jasmin Hernandez, certainly hopes so, telling Endgadget, “We’re hopeful that in the midst of extensive layoffs, workers across the video game industry will see organizing as a pathway to improve working conditions for all of us.”

Employees at Raven Software, CD Projekt RED, and ZeniMax have been forming their own unions over the last couple of years, and interest in unionization has no doubt gained momentum due to how unstable the games industry has become for workers. There have been too many examples of layoffs in 2024 alone, and things only seem to be getting worse.

In fact, on March 28, a report from revealed SEGA was cutting 240 jobs across its European studios, including Sonic Dream Team developer SEGA Hardlight and Creative Assembly, which already suffered from layoffs after its Hyenas project was canceled.

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