All of Key phrases Studios’ unionized QA staff had been laid off from the studio in late September after Dragon Age: Dreadwolf developer BioWare declined to proceed its contract in August.
The QA staff, who had been contracted to help with playtesting and high quality assurance at BioWare Edmonton, received their union vote in June 2022. All 16 eligible voters stated “sure” to becoming a member of United Meals and Business Employees Canada Union, Native No. 401. It was a historic vote, making the group the primary video games business union in Canada. Key phrases Studios staff had been in bargaining with the corporate once they had been laid off following the information of 50 job cuts at BioWare itself.
A UFCW consultant informed Polygon that 13 individuals had been laid off — everybody supporting BioWare. Liz Corless, Key phrases Studios’ international head of selling, confirmed that 13 Edmonton-based QA staff had been laid off.
“We will affirm that regrettably the 13 Edmonton-based workers have now left the enterprise following the top of a hard and fast time period consumer contract,” Corless wrote in an e-mail.
The personnel had been laid off on Sept. 27. Corless added that Key phrases Studios has “taken the place there isn’t any extra work obtainable.” (Key phrases Studios has a number of QA job postings listed on its web site, in Canada and internationally. Many, however not all of those listings, are associated to language localization and require specialties that the laid-off staff could not have.)
Russwurm stated the union filed an employment requirements grievance towards Key phrases Studios this week. He added that Key phrases Studios supplied “minimal severance,” which the union is disputing. Severance has not but been paid out, he stated. (A number of BioWare workers laid off at the moment are at present suing the corporate for “satisfactory severance.” These are two separate points with two separate corporations, nevertheless, regardless of being linked to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.)
Although the unionized QA staff didn’t but have a contract with Key phrases Studios, they’ll try to barter higher severance pay.
Key phrases Studios is headquartered in Eire however has greater than 20 worldwide places of work. The studio was based in 1998, and doesn’t publish or develop its personal video games — as an alternative, it supplies artwork, QA, audio, and different growth help for different studios, like BioWare.