Twenty-one writers for Lovestruck, a cell app that publishes visible romance novels, are on strike after asking proprietor Voltage Entertainment USA to acknowledge their calls for as a collective, known as Voltage Organized Workers. These Lovestruck writers, all of whom are contracted employees, have united to demand “better working conditions, greater transparency, and increased protections” for the employees. On July 15, Voltage Organized Workers posted on Twitter and Tumblr that they have been occurring strike after administration refused to acknowledge the employees’ calls for.
“Not only are we paid less than half the industry standard rate, we are asked to meet extremely tight deadlines and produce enormous amounts of content without protections or benefits,” the employees mentioned in an announcement. “We want to see our hard work and commitment to authentic storytelling given the value it deserves.”
Management for Voltage Entertainment USA has dismissed Voltage Organized Workers’ claims, saying that “false statements … were made in the social media posts.” The firm additionally said in a statement published to its website on Monday that it had tried to barter with writers individually, however that the employees had refused to barter individually. Voltage Entertainment USA additionally wrote that “‘Voltage Organized Workers’ is not a union.” The firm has employed new writers of their place — “at the same rate increases we proposed to resolve the issue,” the corporate mentioned. The firm has not but responded to Polygon’s inquiries.
The employees who’re a part of Voltage Organized Workers are contracted staff, that means they work at an at-will foundation and don’t accumulate advantages, like medical health insurance. As Voltage Entertainment USA mentioned, the group is not a acknowledged union, so protections are usually not assured for the employees.
Voltage Entertainment USA is a subsidiary of Japanese developer Voltage Inc. Voltage Entertainment USA operates out of an workplace in San Francisco, and has created a major quantity of unique titles for the Lovestruck: Choose Your Romance app, which was released in 2017. There are no less than 16 ongoing collection of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style visible novels in Lovestruck, according to its Google Store page. The app itself is free, although sure segments and tales are positioned behind paywalls.
Lovestruck is a vastly in style app with a reported 22 million customers as of 2014, according to the International Business Times. In explicit, it’s identified for its inclusive storylines and characters — particularly in queer communities. The writers themselves, in line with the assertion from Voltage Organized Workers, are all “members of marginalized genders and/or sexualities,” too.
The group of 21 writers are asking Lovestruck followers to ship (respectful) messages to Voltage Entertainment USA asking it to acknowledge the employees’ calls for. They additionally requested for gamers to not harass administration or different employees, and to not boycott the app. Instead, the group is encouraging gamers to learn new story routes, particularly “POC or enby” ones.