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EA says AI regulation and unionization could negatively impact business

More workers are seeking to unionize, and EA has taken notice.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 14, 2023

2 Min Read
The EA logo on a vibrant red background

EA believes an uptick in unionizing workers across the game industry could pose an operational risk to its business.

As spotted by Axios, the U.S. publisher detailed a series of business risks in its annual proxy statement, and suggested that if a significant number of its workforce were to unionize it could "experience operational changes that may materially impact our business."

"Our global workforce is primarily non-unionized, but we have unions and works councils outside of the United States. In the U.S., there has been an increase in prominence in certain sectors of workers exercising their right to form or join a union," it noted, outlining why the possibility of unionization has become a concern.

The FIFA, Battlefield, and Need for Speed publisher isn't wrong, either. Workers at companies like Sega of America and Zenimax Studios have both sought to unionize this year, while a number of departments at Activision Blizzard–including QA staff at Raven and Blizzard Albany–have also unionized.

Earlier this year, the 2023 GDC State of the Industry survey found that the majority of developers are in favor of unionization, even if that support hasn't necessarily translated into practical action (yet).

Another hot topic that EA believes could pose a potential legal and compliance risk is the regulation of artificial intelligence. The company says the rapid advancement of AI tools could result in new regulations that negatively impact its business, including how it incorporates AI into its games and development processes.

"New laws related to these business models and features or the interpretation or application of current laws could subject us to additional regulation and oversight, cause us to further limit or restrict the sale of our products and services, or otherwise impact our products and services, lessen the engagement with, and growth of, profitable business models, and expose us to increased compliance costs, significant liability, fines, penalties and harm to our reputation and brand," it added.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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