Labor disputes usually aren't known for their laughs, but BioWare has somehow managed to craft a hilarious, if tragic tale. After trying to corral a clan of unionizing QA testers, the Dragon Age Dreadwolf developer instead just gave up, sent them to virtual purgatory, and logged out – in a manner of speaking. Now, who said corporate couldn’t be fun?
Not quite as scaly as the Dreadwolf itself, but BioWare just couldn't tolerate unionized workers prowling their company. According to Polygon, the developer just locked out 13 QA testers working on the upcoming Dragon Age sequel. The unfortunate part? Those testers were all unionized, nixing BioWare’s hopes of easy labors.
Talk about drama! This isn't a fantasy world, but BioWare's decisiveness seems straight out of Thedas. Despite these brave warriors hailing not from BioWare but from an outsourcing company - the aptly named Keywords Studios – the decision was clear: "BioWare will not have thy unionized laborers!"
In a plot twist that would impress even Dragon Age’s writers, these 13 testers at Keyword Studios were first given the boot in September, following BioWare severing its cord with the agency. Guess their quest for better working conditions ended with a fade-to-black screen.
But it gets even juicier! These stoic QA testers had chosen to unionize just a year prior in June 2022. By doing so, they scored themselves a critical hit, turning their studio into the first to ever vote for unionization in Canada.
Unfortunately, the studio’s response resembled a typical villain move. Offering only a small health potion, aka "minimal severance," the studio now faces an employment ethics complaint from the union. If you thought your 'Levelling up' was tough, think again!
Alas, this tale of employment woe isn't the first chapter in BioWare’s layoff saga. Earlier in August, fifty developers encountered the mighty force of BioWare's downsizing action under the guise of "creating an outstanding game". Talk about using your dragon shout!
Even though Dragon Age Dreadwolf was announced years ago, the folks at BioWare seem more concerned with laying off their developers than setting a concrete release date. Now, doesn’t that make you chuckle?
The plot thickens, folks! Among those dismissed in August, seven brave souls are fighting the mighty BioWare dragon in court, demanding better severance. Because why slay dragons in a game, when you can do it in real life, right?
To add to this fantastic melee, BioWare now faces two legal battles – one from the laid-off developers and one from the union itself. I guess the BioWare fantasy really does encapsulate political intrigue, treachery, and battles – only, in their real-world office version.
Fans, hold back your tears. One of the casualties was a veteran writer known for creating unforgettable in-game moments. Hopefully, his epic depart won’t leave players with a story-rendering error in the forthcoming game. This tale of labor dispute had us gasping, cackling, and shaking our heads – all in one breath. Stay locked as we follow the quest updates of these determined, real-world heroes. Who needs Dragon Age when the developer's office antics are entertaining enough?
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