With the WGA on strike, has this affected the games industry at all?

It has tangentially but not directly. Game writers and narrative designers are not traditionally part of the writers’ union. We work in different fields with different rules and different kinds of employers. Most game writers are full-time salaried employees with benefits, which is very different from the writers’ union who traditionally get paid on residuals and on a contract basis. There are two major areas I can think of where the strike affects things.

First, because the writers are on strike, there are now more opportunities for those who don’t care about bypassing a picket line (i.e. scabbing) to enter the screenwriting world because the pool of writing talent is on strike. This means that some game writers who always wanted to work on movies, television, etc. have a much higher chance to realize that dream while the writers’ strike is going on. Some people are not willing to cross that picket line, but that doesn’t mean nobody is willing to scab. Principles are easy to have if they don’t cost you anything.

Second, the writers being on strike essentially halts any franchise that employed union writers. This can have large effects on licensed games, depending on the licensed IP. A franchise tie-in game, for example, would likely need significant changes made. The brand management process might have to get rejiggered. Scheduling could get thrown for a loop because previously planned events (e.g. a film launch) might have to get pushed up or out, causing mismatches with related product launches.

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