Electronic Arts cites staff unionization and AI regulation as business disruption risks

Electronic Arts has updated the list of potential operational risks, adding its view on unionization and AI regulation. Here is what the company has to say about the influence of these factors on its business.

EA cites unionization and AI regulation as business disruption factors

The information was reflected in Electronic Arts’ annual proxy statement (first reported by Axios). It cited the importance of attracting and retaining talent. In addition to obvious things, such as recruiting qualified employees, the company noted that “in the US, there has been an increase in prominence in certain sectors of workers exercising their right to form or join a union.”

Although EA’s global workforce is largely non-unionized, the publisher is concerned that “if significant employee populations were to unionize, we could experience operational changes that may materially impact our business.”

It is worth noting that Apex Legends testers at EA’s office in Baton Rouge reportedly worked on organizing a union for several months before the company laid off the entire 200-person team in March.

There is certainly trend for unionization in the US games industry. The list of already recognized unions at major AAA companies includes over 300 QA testers at ZeniMax, Blizzard Albany, Activision’s Raven Software, and more. Despite some positive shifts, management rarely approves such initiatives without some fight, and EA certainly sees unionization as a potential threat to its operations.

In the proxy filing, the company also noted that it is worried about risks in the AI sector. Electronic Arts believes that it “could become subject to new regulations, or the interpretation of existing regulations, aimed at how we incorporate artificial intelligence into our games and development processes, that could negatively impact our operation and results.”

These statements don’t mean that EA expects these factors to really damage its business in the near future, as this is just a standard filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. But it is interesting to see the company now identifying unionization and AI regulation as dedicated risks.

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