The Canadian Animation Guild has joined forces to provide support to Hardspace Shipbreaker

The Canadian Animation Guild has joined forces to provide support to Hardspace Shipbreaker ...

Anemone Hug Interactive, a Canadian Shipbreaker support studio, has announced that its developers would strike on Wednesday.

The Canadian Animation Guild (CAG) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 938 have joined Anemone Hug. The IATSE mostly services entertainment workers internationally, while the British Columbian animation unit focuses on local animation workers and now game developers.

John Lewis, the vice president and Canadian affairs director of IATSE International, said in a statement that game workers in Canada have worked without the benefits and protections of a union collective agreement and without the strength of union representation. Today, a clear message has been sent to game workers in every province that forming a union is not only possible, but also done.

Polygon has reached out to IATSE and Anemone Hug for further information, including a staff count, and information on how many of those workers are union eligible.

Anemone Hug was founded in 2015 in Vancouver and supports game development for small and large corporations, including work on Hardspace Shipbreaker, Crossfire Legion, and Secret Ponchos. The studio is also working on its own original game, which is set to be released in 2024, according to the Anemone Hug website.

The critically acclaimed game, which was released in early access in 2022, focuses on labor issues and union organizing in space, which was released this week as part of Xbox Game Pass.

Anemone Hug's QA employees have joined Keywords Studios in Edmonton, Canada, to push forward unionization efforts across the country. Back in December, 16 QA employees at the BioWare contractor voted yes to unionization after the studio reportedly implemented a return-to-work order that workers did not agree with.

Over the previous few years, union elections in North America have increased, even when union membership has decreased in the United States. But the momentum has also reaches the video game business, too. Before 2020, no studio in North America had unionized; now there are several, forming at both large and small.