Left Arrow News

Statement on Ban of Non-Compete Agreements

6 May 2024

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) fully supports the FTC’s recent ban on non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements have traditionally limited workers’ freedom to pursue employment opportunities within their own industry. This restraint has been particularly detrimental in the game development sector, affecting the livelihoods and career trajectories of developers, especially those within a niche discipline, based in regions with few employers, or those with highly specialized skills.

Many legal experts argue that non-compete clauses stifle competition and innovation. Eliminating these clauses can encourage knowledge sharing and entrepreneurship, leading to the creation of new jobs and fostering a healthier industry ecosystem.

The FTC’s decision will protect most developers in the United States from restrictive agreements that could bar them from earning a livelihood in their chosen field of game development. We believe this change is a crucial step towards enhancing job mobility and resilience within our industry. Such mobility is especially vital in the unstable landscape of game development, where project-based work and frequent shifts in employment are common. 

The ban will not impact confidentiality agreements and other legal mechanisms companies use to safeguard their intellectual property (IP), business interests, and trade secrets. Protecting IP is undeniably important for game developers and companies alike. Nevertheless, it is vital to balance these protections with the need to ensure individuals have the freedom to work and innovate. We must continue to advocate for policies that support both innovation and the rights of workers to pursue their careers freely.

The IGDA views the ban on non-compete clauses as a positive development for the game development community. It will enable professionals within our industry to navigate their careers with fewer restrictions and promote a more dynamic and innovative landscape in games.

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