Take-Two CEO Doesn’t See the Need for Game Developer Unions

Take-Two Interactive’s CEO Says Game Devs Are So Well-Paid That Unions For Them Aren’t Necessary

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz in a recent interview that since game developers in the United States “make about $100,000 on average” then he doesn’t see “what would motivate [them] to unionize.”

Take-Two Interactive

When the topic of unionization came up in the interview, Zelnick said that the unions in other industries proved to be “most beneficial when there were more workers than there were jobs.” Also, according to Zelnick, those jobs were “low-paying”. Unlike those industries, the video game industry has “fewer workers than we have jobs, and they’re high-paying jobs.”

“Right now, Take-Two has 500 open positions,” Zelnick said. “There are 220,000 or so people employed in the US video game business. They make about $100,000 on average, maybe more.”

“It’s hard to imagine what would motivate [them] to unionize,” he continued. “But we’re a compliant company and will serve the law. If our colleagues want to engage in collective bargaining, then we will.”

Take-Two Interactive

According to a summary report of a 2017 game developer survey held by the US-based International Game Developers Association, 54% of the respondents “made over $50K USD per year, with the most common salary being between $75K and $100K USD per year (15%), or between $50K and $75K USD per year (15%).” Forty-two percent of the survey’s respondents worked in the US and “participants from North America make up more than half the sample.”

“Slightly more than three quarters (77%) of respondents said that their income was comprised completely from their work in the game industry, and only 6% said that they earned 50% or less of their income from their game related work,” the summary report also read.

Despite these salaries, some developers have spoken to news outlets (such as Kotaku and Variety) about the allegedly poor working conditions at their AAA studios.

Take-Two Interactive

These news reports have bolstered support for the unionization of game developers. However, there haven’t been any such unions officially formed in the US (though there has been one formed in the UK).

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