Why even the studios behind bestselling games shut down - The Verge
May 08, 2021 2 mins, 13 secs

Ruin and recovery in the video game industry.

Irrational is one of several studios featured in Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry.

Like studios that will staff up a whole expert first-person shooter team, and then abruptly change direction for the game and hire a new team, and then switch back again and have lost all of the people that they managed to collect before.

And I feel like the video game industry is very, very similar?

Because you have these executives — some of whom might have the freedom to think about like, “Okay, what is the company like five years, 10 years from now?” But a lot of them have to think about their next fiscal quarter, especially these publicly traded companies where there’s not a lot of patience from shareholders.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, for the people making the decision to think in terms of, what is the studio’s roadmap going to look like 10 years from now?

About half the book traces the genealogy of System Shock and the people who worked on things related to it like BioShock.

And one of the things I wanted to do there was look at a company like [BioShock developer] Irrational and then trace back the lineage there with [System Shock producer] Warren Spector and then also look at some of the people who came out of that, and then look over to the side to [BioShock 2 developer] 2K Marin.

But I think that one of the problems with internet communities is because they have no max limit, once they hit a certain size, they’re always going to bring in just shitty people.

If you were an online game developer and you were to be able to say, like, “I just want 20,000 people to buy my game and that’s it.

Do you think the pandemic has shifted the industry in a meaningful way — especially with remote work since one of the problems for a lot of the people in the book is that they have to move to a specific city for a studio and then they’re locked in there.

And to see now, after a year and a half, that people actually have been able to be productive from home remotely — to make that potentially an option moving forward would really just change everything.

So I guess I’ll just have to leave the video game industry entirely.”.

It doesn’t matter where,” I think it would really just change everything and create a more healthy, sustainable environment for everybody

Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry will be released on May 11th


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