A group of game testers working with BioWare on its new Dragon Age game are seeking to unionise.
The group, which is part of a contacted game services company named Keywords Studios, were recently told by that company they would need to return to office working full-time, five days a week, beginning in May (thanks, Kotaku).
In-office working – “embedded” within a developer – is one of the services which Keywords offers, and over the years the company has worked with BioWare and others to offer development support in this way.
Speaking to Kotaku, a representative for the staff said this return to work had sparked calls for the group to unionise, especially as there are differences in how Keywords treats staff compared with office colleagues employed full-time by BioWare. One such difference is the lack of paid time off if sick, or if someone tests positive for Covid.
A vote on unionisation is now expected early next month. In response, a Keywords spokesperson told Kotaku: “As this situation is still developing we are gathering facts and will have a statement as soon as possible.”
Eurogamer has contacted Keywords and Dragon Age published EA for more information.
Earlier this week, QA staff working at Call of Duty developer Raven Software moved one step closer to unionisation, after gaining approval from the US National Labour Relations Board to move forward with a vote.
Back in February, BioWare described the next Dragon Age as being “right in the middle” of its production phase and said development was continuing smoothly despite several high-profile departures.