Dragon Age: Dreadwolf QA contractors vote unanimously to unionise
KWS Edmonton United become the first unionised video game industry workers in Canada
QA contractors working on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf at BioWare Edmonton in Alberta, Canada have voted in favour of unionising by 16 ayes to zero nays. The confirmation means that the KWS Edmonton United group become the first games industry professionals to unionise in Canada. Their decision follows on from the Game Workers Alliance group’s successful vote last month to unionise at Actvision Blizzard subsidiary Raven Software in Wisconsin, the first notable such group in the US to do so.
A statement from the Alberta Labour Relations Board provided to RPS said that the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union will act on behalf of Keywords Studios employees working in development support at BioWare Edmonton during collective bargaining. A representative from Keywords Studios said that the bargaining process will start this week.
The Keywords Studios workers, contracted to BioWare Edmonton, first filed to unionise on April 20th earlier this year. They cited low pay on the provincial minimum wage of $15 (£9) per hour and being instructed back into the office full-time in May despite relatively high Covid cases in the area. KWS Edmonton United representatives said at the time that staff employed directly by BioWare were paid more and could keep working from home. The group qualified that their issues were mainly with the contracting company Keywords Studio rather than BioWare.
BioWare teased at the end of last week that the next Dragon Age game would be called Dreadwolf. Spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition, but Dreadwolf is another name for that game’s elven apostate mage and rather cheeky boy Solas. We’ll find out more about what was once only referred to as Dragon Age 4 later this year, BioWare promised.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf hasn’t got a release date yet, but BioWare say it’s definitely not out in 2022.