Fiverr to Offer Game Development Service, But How Will Freelancers Be Affected?

The gig economy has crept into all facets of our lives. Our packages are delivered by Amazon contractors, Ubers bring us to our destinations and TaskRabbit helpers build our furniture. Fiverr, the online marketplace that allows freelancers to make money building websites, editing video or creating content, announced Thursday it will now feature listings for gaming-related digital services.

fiverr games industry
Fiverr is moving into games Fiverr

Game developers and studios can now hire contractors in more than 30 categories including voice acting, programming, storyboarding, video editing and game writing to help them create content. You can narrow down your abilities, for instance, showcasing your talent in voxel art, 3-D animation or work with the Unity engine. Sellers can put samples of their work, like sound effects or examples of past work, to entice potential customers with their services.

"A freelancer can display their skill and knowledge, specifically in the games industry," Yan Chelly, head of vertical experience at Fiverr told Newsweek. "Anyone can reach out to them. Before this, you had to go and find offline agencies."

To help develop this service, Fiverr representatives sat down with members of the games industry and businesses. They discovered that there was a place for their "work for hire" model and technology in this market. "We have game agencies that are leveraging the platform in order to get resources for game design and development," Chelly said.

Though there is no dedicated resource or study that's gathered the average salary of a freelanced games worker, "anecdotes about having to rely on such platforms for work are sadly on the increase," Marijam Didžgalvytė, head of international communications for Games Workers Unite!, dedicated to improving working conditions in the industry, told Newsweek. She said freelancing creates a "race to the bottom," with platforms like Fiverr "devaluing" their work.

"Freelancers lack contracts that would offer workplace security such as healthcare, pension, sick pay, holiday pay etc," Didžgalvytė said, pointing out that speaking up about exploitation could harm a freelancer's future prospects.

"When the market dictates how much a person's value is worth, contractors are encouraged to compete against each other and undervalue their work," Didžgalvytė added.

Fiverr allows sellers to price their services at any amount they wish, depending on how they feel their content is valued, or the market dictates. The company takes a hands-off approach to moderation, letting sellers and buyers figure out the logistics. When asked how Fiverr makes sure freelancers aren't taken advantage of, Chelly said, "It's a learning process for the seller, and I think the sellers are doing a very good job at pricing their gigs today."