Sega of America employees vote to unionize

A blue cartoon hedgehog holding onto a red plane in flight
Paramount Pictures and Sega of America released the movie “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” in 2022. Workers at Sega sought to unionize to seek higher base pay and improved benefits, among other demands.
(Paramount Pictures / Sega of America)
Share via

Sega of America workers voted to unionize Monday, creating what they say is the largest multi-departmental video game union in the U.S.

Workers at the company’s Burbank and Irvine locations voted 91 to 26 in favor of unionizing under the banner Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA, represented by the Communications Workers of America. The mail-in election results were tallied by the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.

“Now, through our union, we’ll be able to protect the parts of our jobs we love, and strengthen the benefits, pay, and job stability available to all workers,” Ángel Gómez, translator and member of AEGIS-CWA, said in a news release. “Together we can build an even better SEGA. We hope our victory today is an inspiration to other workers across the gaming industry.”


In an internal email sent to employees, Sega of America leadership said that while it believes a direct relationship with employees “promotes a supportive environment, responsiveness, and a shared commitment, we respect our employees’ rights and maintain our legal commitment to the NLRB process.”

Amid complaints about crunch times, claims of discrimination and calls for fair and transparent pay, more video game workers are seeking to unionize.

Jan. 31, 2023

The union will encompass multiple departments and more than 200 roles, including quality assurance, marketing and product development. AEGIS is represented by CWA Local 9510, which serves Orange County.

Sega, a Japanese gaming juggernaut known for titles including “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Mortal Kombat II,” has five days to file objections, according to NLRB director and spokeswoman Kayla Blado. If none are filed, the employer must move forward with bargaining in good faith.

AEGIS-CWA aims to negotiate for higher base pay, improved benefits, adequate staffing, balanced and defined workloads and more opportunities for advancement, as outlined in the news release.

The success of AEGIS-CWA follows other moves to unionize in the video game industry in recent years. In January 2023, more than 300 quality assurance workers at Microsoft’s Zenimax studios formed the largest union in the industry encompassing a single department.

A group of video game testers is forming Microsoft’s first labor union in the U.S. It will also be the largest union in the video game industry.

Jan. 3, 2023

Employees at Activision Blizzard, known for “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” formed two unions in Wisconsin and New York in 2022, and EBay subsidiary TCG Player and Paizo are currently in the process of unionizing.


12:11 p.m. July 11, 2023: This article has been updated since it was first published to include comment from Sega.