Dragon Age 4 is an upcoming game by BioWare. It is named Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Electronic Arts will be publishing the game. It will be a sequel to Dragon Age: Inquisition. In fact, the Dragon Age franchise has been a popular one among gamers. Therefore, a lot of expectations are building around the upcoming fourth entry of the franchise. We get to know about it in December 2018 at The Game Awards. Then, in August 2020, a concept art video was released at Gamescom, followed by a teaser trailer in December 2020. However, the July 2021 EA Play event did not feature any updates about the game.
In fact, the most recent developments suggest that the gamers will have to wait longer than expected to get hold of the game. On the morning of 6th June this year, the QA testers of Dragon Age 4 formed a video game labour union. In fact, this is the first of its type in Canada. Now, this is an alarming issue for Bioware, as this will surely delay the game’s publishing. The main issue against which the testers rebelled was a problematic return-to-office mandate and bad pay. Read the article to know more about the video game labour union that will surely delay the publication of Dragon Age 4.
Dragon Age 4: The Cause of Discontent
The presently rebelling QA testers were employed through Keywords Studios. Keywords Studios is a large firm having 40 offices around the world. You will get to see the rebelling testers employed at the Edmonton office. There, they supported many BioWare games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition and many others. This team of testers is recently working on Dragon Age 4, providing quality assurance testing.
Problems started when Keywords Studios stated that the testers would have to return to the BioWare office by 9th May. The problem lay in the fact that the testers do not receive any paid sick leave. Moreover, according to the testers, their pay scale of USD 13 per hour is also not up to the mark. Therefore, they also demanded a salary hike. The testers, therefore, started campaigning. In fact, Keywords Studios called off their back-to-office mandate. However, the rebelling workers stated that they were still bragging about a salary hike and the back-to-office mandate. Therefore, they framed the union on a majority of 16-0. They also posted the results on Twitter:
This union will be bragging for the common cause of the employees with the authority of Keywords Studios. The union also congratulated all the “brave workers” of North America for their struggle to get a better workplace. A similar QA unionisation victory has also been registered at Raven Software. Raven Software develops the Call of Duty games. In addition, Microsoft recently announced that they would recognise the new unions. All of these point to the fact that unionization in the gaming industry will be gaining considerable momentum in the near future.
Unionisation in the gaming industry is now becoming an alarming issue that will delay and hamper the publication of games like Dragon Age 4. However, we can not blame the workers only. In fact, the allegations of patronizing crunch culture were raised against various gaming studios like Bethesda. Workers in many other companies are voicing their concern over overworking and low pay scale.
Though, in most cases, the studio authorities are denying the charges, there seems to be some truth in the claims. Moreover, Keywords Studios stated on their website that they had accepted the vote of the unionising staff. However, a spokesperson stated that the studio would not provide any further statement on the issue. The studio must look for ways to solve the issues with the rebelling staff at the earliest. Or else the publication of Dragon Age 4 will delay further.
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