UK games union membership up 'almost' 50% in 2023

UK games union membership up 'almost' 50% in 2023

Membership to the Game Workers branch of the IWGB union went up by 'almost half' between December 2022 and December 2023.

That's according to The Guardian, which reports that during October 2023, membership in Game Workers rose by 12 per cent in the wake of layoffs, including job cuts at Fortnite maker Epic Games.

Of the roughly 11,100 redundancies in 2023, in the region of 900 impacted UK workers.

That was before the recent wave of mass redundancies; to date, around 3,400 jobs have been cut in 2024 to date.

“It’s felt like a deluge of redundancies in the past five or six months. It just keeps coming and coming,” IWGB Game Workers chair Austin Kelmore.

“And with this wave, I’ve seen people saying ‘we need to join unions’. Our membership went through the roof. We had the largest growth of new members in any month in our five-year history at the end of last year.”

Daniel Wood, the co-chair of UK video games trade body UKIE, added: “It has been difficult to hear of the job losses in the video games sector over the recent few months. Our analysis suggests this is a rebalancing following successive years of significant growth during the pandemic.

“We continue to work hard to ensure the UK remains a great place to start and scale up games businesses, and we urge the government to use the budget to create the conditions needed for games businesses to grow.”

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.