Staff at Cyberpunk 2077 studio CD Projekt are forming a union in an effort to represent and provide a voice for “all Polish gamedev workers” while improving industry conditions, after around 9% of the company’s development studio CD Projekt Red were laid off earlier this year.
With the development of Cyberpunk 2077 wrapping up and the next entry in The Witcher saga in the works, staff at the RPG game maker have formed a union that’s open to all Polish game developers. The Polish Gamedev Workers Union (PGWU) comes a few months after the CD Projekt Red layoffs, with the goal of “creating games in a stable, fair, diverse, and healthy environment.”
The PGWU says it “Started talking about unionizing after the 2023 wave of layoffs when 9% of Red (that is roughly 100 people) was let go.
“This event created a tremendous amount of stress and insecurity, affecting our mental health and leading to the creation of this union in response. Having a union means having more security, transparency, better protection, and a stronger voice in times of crisis,” the PGWU website says.
The PGWU is part of the nationwide Polish Trade Union Workers Initiative, giving game developers access to legal support, experience, and a large network while still being able to independently operate within the videogame industry.
As of right now the union wants to gather more members and has reached out to the CD Projekt board to start a dialogue, as the PGWU is currently still in a trial period, and thus not legally established, until around mid-December of 2023.
While the PGWU is open to all Polish game developers, the union has noted that CD Projekt workplace-specific benefits won’t apply to non-CD Projekt workers “until you gather a large enough group for us to establish our commission in your workplace as well.”
It’s worth noting that the union applies to all CD Projekt workers, not just those in the game-making arm of the company at CD Projekt Red.
The PGWU’s formation comes as a response to this year’s CD Projekt Red layoffs, when CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said, “There’s no easy way to say this, but today we are overstaffed,” as around 100 workers would slowly be let go.
“This will not be immediate as some employees will be let go as late as Q1 2024 but, in the spirit of transparency, we’ve chosen to share the information now,” Kiciński added. “We want team members to have ample time to process and adjust to the change, and we’ve also made sure to offer everyone a comprehensive severance package.”
PCGamesN has contacted the PGWU and will update this story with any further comments.