The game industry is not exactly known for valuing workers. Big studios are rife with soul-destroying crunch and end-of-project layoffs. French studio Motion Twin, developer of the Castlevania-inspired roguelike Dead Cells, is trying something different: Workers own and manage the company. There is no boss.
Motion Twin describes itself as an “anarcho-syndical workers cooperative.” What this means in practical terms is that all of its 11 workers are, in theory, equal. Same pay, same say.
“We actually just use a super basic formula: if a project finds success, people are basically paid more in bonuses, and everyone is paid the absolute same way,” said longtime Motion Twin game designer Sébastien Bénard in an email. “The devs and the artists are paid the same amount of money, and people like me who have been here for 17 years are paid the same amount as people who were recruited last year.”