The first video game studio in the US to unionize is shutting down. On Wednesday, Beast Breaker developer Vodeo Games announced it had failed to secure funding to produce an additional release beyond its debut title. “Despite a year of avid efforts, we’ve been unable to secure funding for our next project from publishers and investors,” Vodeo Games said in a tweet spotted by . “As such, we’ve run out of funds and aren’t able to keep the team together — and there simply is no Vodeo without our incredible team.”
Vodeo Games was founded in 2021 by Threes! designer Asher Vollmer. The studio released its first game that same year. According to Vodeo’s website, it had been working on a new project before today’s announcement. The studio will complete work on the Steam version of Beast Breaker before closing shop.
At the end of last year, Vodeo’s all-remote team of 13 successfully unionized with , the Communication Workers of America's Campaign to Organize Digital Employees. Despite the management of Vodeo Games recognizing the studio’s union, the two sides never came to a bargaining agreement. According to Vodeo Workers United, negotiations came to an end when it became apparent the studio could not secure additional funding. The group said it would share what it learned with other industry workers to help them organize their workplaces.
Vodeo Games has announced that it has closed its doors. Vodeo Workers United (CODE-CWA) were in the process of collective bargaining but had not yet reached an agreement when it became clear the studio was no longer financially viable. Therefore we decided to halt bargaining.
— Vodeo Workers United (@vodeoworkers) September 7, 2022
Since workers at Vodeo unionized, employees at other studios have attempted to follow suit. Most notably, there’s the QA division at Activision's Raven Software, which voted in May to . More recently, quality assurance staff at , formerly Vicarious Visions, filed for a union election.