Vodeo Games, the independent company whose workers in 2021 formed the first certified union at a video game studio in North America, is closing.
the beast crusher study broke the news Wednesday on Twitter, saying lack of funding for an upcoming project was to blame. “Unfortunately, the story is familiar to small studios,” the company said in the statement. “Despite a year of avid efforts, we have been unable to secure funding from publishers and investors for our next project. As such, we have run out of funds and cannot hold the team together, and there is simply no Vodeo without our amazing team.”
According to Vodeo Games, the company will close its operations launching beast crusher on the Steam digital distributor. “We hope that you will bring our creation to many new players and continue to support our team even when we all go our separate ways.”
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union, which represents workers in telecommunications, health care, and law enforcement, among other sectors, made its video game industry debut in December 2021 by winning voluntary recognition of a Syndicate at Video Games. The union, though a small studio, marked an important step forward for the CWA’s CODE initiative, launched in 2020 to organize workers in the video game, technology and digital industries.
The 10-person unit covered both employees and independent contractors and was in the process of negotiating its first contract when the company decided to close its doors, Vodeo Workers United tweeted on Wednesday. “Despite the sad news, we have learned a lot and will continue to fight for worker representation, helping others and sharing our knowledge. We want to thank the people of @CODE_CWA for helping us throughout this adventure. We strongly encourage you to contact them,” the group tweeted. According to CWA, unionized workers have been laid off as a result of the company’s closure. (the hollywood reporter contacted Video Games for comment).
Since CWA dove into the video game space at Vodeo Games in 2021, the union has ramped up its efforts this year, announcing organizing drives at Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software, Blizzard Albany, and independent studio Tender Claws. The Tender Claws union was voluntarily recognized and the Raven Software union won the National Labor Relations Board union election; Blizzard Albany workers have yet to participate in a union vote.