The meat and bones of what makes up the Game Developers Union, what it stands for, and what it seeks to accomplish.

Worker’s Rights


Compensation Transparency:
Just like public sector jobs, all salaries and contractor rates must be made publicly available to all current and prospective employees.

Salaried Employees:
A minimum industry salary across all roles, set by the local GDU chapter. No matter what title you are assigned, you deserve no less than a livable wage for your area.

A minimum industry hourly rate for all contractors (this includes freelancers), set by the local GDU chapter you live/work from.

Quality Assurance / Testers:
A minimum industry hourly rate for all QA/Testers, set by the local GDU chapter.

Paid Interns:
A minimum industry hourly rate (set by the local GDU chapter) must be paid to all interns who perform any non-observational tasks that in any way directly benefit the company or the development of company projects or titles.


Contractor VS. Employee:

  1. If you are required to work on-site and have mandated work hours, you are an employee, period. No more abuse of on-site contractors as cheap, temporary workers who function in all ways like a full-time employee, but receive no benefits, relocation assistance, etc.
  2. On-site contracts must be task-oriented, not time-oriented. A contractor with a 12 month contract isn’t a contractor, they’re an employee the company is avoiding paying the termination costs of after a year of employment.
  3. If your company needs temporary staffing then they need to use contractors as they were originally intended. As task-oriented remote workers with autonomy over their daily scheduling, or an extremely temporary on-site expert brought in to fix a specific problem.

Quality Assurance / Testers:
All on-site QA / Testers must be hired as either an hourly or salaried employees. Off-site / external QA not directly provided as full time employees of the developer, or indirectly provided as full time employees of a publisher, must be handled as a fully independent vendor, not a individual contractors whose employer is subject to the same wage requirements as all other QA / Tester employees.

For an internship to remain unpaid, it must be educational only. To be considered educational only, the intern must only observe, not contribute to any daily tasks or shippable assets or input in any way, shape, or form. For a company to derive any direct benefit from an intern they must be paid GDU minimum internship wages.


Paid Time Off:
All full time employees must receive a minimum of 10 paid vacation days and 5 paid sick days per year that roll over year-to-year and do not expire for at least 3 years from the date they are issued.

Parental Leave:
All full time employees must be eligible for a minimum of 4 weeks of paid maternity / paternity leave.

Bonuses and Profit Sharing:
All bonus structures and profit sharing must be disclosed clearly and plainly with up-to-date terms readily available to all employees. Reports on bonuses and profit sharing figures must be made publicly available to all employees.

Employee Support

Abuse Reporting:
An anonymous avenue for reporting abusive behavior and toxic work environments will be made available to all Union members with remediation handled jointly between the Game Developers Union and the employer.

Payroll Issue Reporting:
An anonymous avenue for reporting payroll issues such as late or missed payment, refusal to pay Union minimum wages, or other disruptions of employee compensation with remediation handled jointly between the Game Developers Union and the employer.

Developer Credits

Mandatory credit inclusion:
Any developer – internal, external, full time or contractor – who contributes work to a project or title must be credited in the department their work belongs (e.g. – Environment Art, Animation, etc).

Any developer that works on the project for more than 2 months must be credited with the full title they held at the time of development, regardless of if they have remained with the studio or not before the title ships.

All contractors and outsourcing agencies must be credited under the full name of their business or agency. Contractors that do work under an incorporated business must be credited under a shared “Additional Outsourcing” category under the department their work belongs to.

Hiring Practices

Art Tests

Paid Art Tests:
Any prospective employee asked to submit an art test as part of the hiring process must be paid the GDU minimum contractor hourly wage for their time spent completing the test. The employer has the right to set a maximum time limit to the art test, but it must be reasonable for the amount of work required.

Art Test Time Requirements:
Art tests may have reasonable requirements for completion time. A guideline for reasonable completion times will be provided by the GDU. While the employer will be expected to use that guideline to set their own time limits, abusive limits can be reported anonymously to the GDU for review.

The goal of these rules is to discourage studios from requesting excessively complex art test and/or, from sending out art tests to far more candidates then they intend or expect to interview.

Developer Accreditation

GDU Evaluated Title Accreditation

All Game Developers Union members will have the option to be evaluated by the GDU for a certified rank and title as well as skill certifications that will indicate seniority and skill level within their field.

These skills and titles will be independently verified by industry experts from the corresponding fields. Members will be able to appeal for a title/rank update review once per year, and skill certifications twice per year.

Titles and ranks will be clearly defined in the GDU and will provide a useful service to members as well as employers and hiring managers.