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Unionised Keywords BioWare workers have been laid off

Unionised Keywords BioWare workers have been laid off

Games services company Keywords Studios has made all of the unionised quality assurance staff working at BioWare redundant.

As reported by Polygon, the team was let go in late September in the wake of the Dragon Age developer deciding to not renew its contact the previous month. In 2022, the QA workers joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union (UFCW) after all 16 eligible members of staff voted. In doing so, they became the first bargaining unit within the Canadian games industry.

A UFCW told Polygon that 13 workers were laid off, something that Keywords Studio's global head of marketing, Liz Corless, has confirmed.

“We can confirm that regrettably the 13 Edmonton-based staff have now left the business following the end of a fixed term client contract,” she said.

James Russwurm, a member of the QA bargaining unit at Keywords Edmonton, said that they were laid off on September 27th. The union has filed an employment standards complaint against Keywords, with Russwurm adding that they were offered "minimal severance".

The unionised workers were in the process of negotiating a contract with Keywords.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.