Today, editorial and creative workers at the popular video game and entertainment site IGN announced that they are unionizing with the NewsGuild-CWA.
Launched in 1996 as the “Imagine Games Network,” IGN was originally five different websites covering different consoles and online games. Eventually, the sites were housed under one consolidated brand and began to cover more than just games, including comics, movies, and TV shows. In 2013, IGN was purchased by media company Ziff Davis. The website has since grown into the biggest video game outlet in the world and one of the most popular entertainment sites on the internet, with over 470 million monthly visitors in December 2023 alone. And the staff who are responsible for that success are now forming a union.
On February 6, the IGN staff officially announced the IGN Creators Guild, a new union made up of just over 80 writers, editors, and content creators. IGNCG expects Ziff Davis to voluntarily recognize the guild because over 87% of eligible members have signed union cards. The IGN Creators Guild will be separate from the pre-existing Ziff Davis Creators Guild which is also part of the News Guild-CWA.
In a mission statement from the IGNCG, the members laid out various reasons for why they were unionizing.
“Of our many goals, we first and foremost want to see IGN grow and thrive as digital media continues to become more and more tumultuous,” the guild explained. “We have been an institution for over 25 years, and the creators of IGN want to see it continue for 25 more and beyond. But to do so, we need support. We need fair and competitive pay for all, including those who are asked to live and work in some of the most expensive cities in the United States; affordable health insurance; and better diversity, equity, and inclusion across the board.”
The union also wants protection from layoffs in what it calls a “hectic media landscape” and guarantees of “reasonable compensation” when cuts are unavoidable. The group also wants protections against generative AI and other similar tech, something that has become a big problem in digital media for many outlets in the last 12 months.
The IGN Creators Guild also called for better, clearer career growth paths and more support for overworked employees who need more time to rest after working long hours covering big events like Comic-Con.
How readers can help the new union
As for how readers and fans can support the IGN Creators Guild, the union suggests folks follow the group on social media (@IGNUnion). It also shared an online petition fans can sign asking Ziff Davis to voluntarily recognize the union.
“I love my job,” said Amelia Emberwing, a streaming editor at the site. “But working with company-sponsored initiatives has only highlighted just how far we have to go when it comes to giving women and people of color a spot at the table. IGN has always been about its community, and its workers are at the heart of that. I hope Ziff Davis and IGN management hear that community now.”
In the past, IGN has faced criticism online over its panels and sponsored events sometimes showcasing mostly white men on screen. It’s also received criticism after creating sponsored content with the U.S. military and oil companies. In its mission statement, IGNCG says it wants to address the ethical editorial concerns of these deals.
“I’m immensely proud of this team, and want the best for all of us,” said Max Scoville, senior producer, host, and nine-year veteran of the company. “IGN is already an industry leader in entertainment media, but it’s crucial that we ensure it also continues to be a bastion for the human beings who give it a voice.”