UPDATE: On February 22 workers won voluntarily recognition from their employer.
Los Angeles, Calif. — Today a supermajority of editorial and creative workers at IGN have announced that they are unionizing with the NewsGuild-CWA.
The unit will consist of a little over 80 employees at inception, with 87% of the eligible members signing union authorization cards. The IGN Creators Guild expects that Ziff Davis will voluntarily recognize the guild in response to this impressive participation from their staff.
The move to unionize comes after a year of record-breaking layoffs across entertainment and games journalism; in response to the need for better diversity and representation at the company; and in the wake of online media becoming less and less financially viable to staffers, many of which must live in some of the most expensive cities in the world in order to do their jobs.
“I’ve seen what my colleagues are capable of, whether we’re producing content around blockbuster gaming and entertainment releases, spinning up massive live shows around tentpole industry events or staying abreast of the daily hum of popular culture, and it’s a constant reminder of what’s possible when this many smart and talented people work together,” said Max Scoville, senior producer/host and 9 year veteran of the company. “I’m immensely proud of this team, and want the best for all of us. 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.”
IGN saw over 479 million monthly viewers in December according to third-party analytic site SEMRush, and boasts a combined 51 million followers across its various social platforms.
“IGN is an incredible place to work! But so many of the talented creators that make it so incredible need more support than they’re currently getting, especially when it comes to competitive pay and adequate time off,” noted senior reporter Rebekah Valentine. “And at a time when our industry faces so much uncertainty amid mass layoffs and the rise of generative AI, it’s more important than ever for us to ensure IGN remains a great place to work not just today, but for the future IGN that doesn’t exist yet.”
Digital media executives laid off a record-breaking number of workers in 2023, exceeding 17,000 across a multitude of websites. According to Axios, this number exceeds the 2020 quarantine-era cuts. That trend has only continued in 2024, with devastating cuts wracking several newsrooms in January already.
“I love my job, 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,” Amelia Emberwing, a streaming editor on the features team added. “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.”
A mission statement by members of the staff’s union says workers are ready to continue to fight so IGN remains a mainstay in the industry for another 25 years and beyond, but they need necessary support in order to do so. The union will be fighting for better pay, layoff protections, measurable steps that increase staff diversity and more.