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Just Cause developers Avalanche have unionised, covering over 500 employees

Agreement will take effect from this time next year

Just Cause 4 hero Rico escapes a jet while doing a sick jump on a motorcycle amid explosions
Image credit: Avalanche

Just Cause developers Avalanche have become home to the latest union in the games industry, with over 500 staff at the Swedish studio set to be covered by a new agreement formed with local labour unions.

The move sees Avalanche enter a collective bargaining agreement with Swedish organisations Unionen and Engineers of Sweden for all employees based in the Scandinavian country. According to Avalanche, the agreement covers over 500 staff, the majority of Avalanche’s more than 650-strong headcount - most of those in Stockholm and Malmö, with others based in New York, Liverpool and Montreal. (Edit: A previous version of this article stated that Avalanche had around 500 staff - this has been updated. Avalanche has also confirmed that every worker in Sweden will be covered by the agreement, more than 500 employees.)

The deal will take effect from the second quarter of 2025 - this time next year - and will aim to “standardise frameworks around essential areas such as salaries, benefits, employee influence and career support” according to Avalanche’s announcement. The next few months will apparently be spent outlining exactly what’s offered and putting it in place, without disrupting the studio’s work on upcoming co-op smuggling game Contraband and other projects.

“Over the past years, we’ve taken significant steps toward making Avalanche one of the best workplaces in the games industry,” said CEO Stefanía Halldórsdóttir. “Our inclusive, warm, and welcoming culture, sound work-life balance, profit sharing, and parental leave policy - just to name a few - are a testament to that. These are all things that set us apart and allow us to focus on making great games. We hope that signing a CBA will be yet another step in that same direction.”

Avalanche’s union sees them join the likes of Sega of America, Zenimax QA workers and Blizzard staff as those games companies who have unionised in the last year. The successful union efforts obviously come amid a turbulent 12 months for those in the industry, with widespread layoffs, studio closures and more. Congratulations and good luck to them.

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