RainGeek Rant: The Bell Tolls for THQ

Due to Financial troubles at THQ, Vancouver Game Studio Relic Entertainment and Vigil Games in Texas had to go through some painful restructuring. The Warhammer 40k MMO Dark Millennium online was reduced to single player game, and Relic had to let go of 39 employees, while Vigil cast off 79. According to the Excapist, studios like Treyarch, Popcap and Insomniac stepped in to headhunt the latest casualties of Game Industry capriciousness.

All these companies lining up to snap up the new layoffs sounds like a good thing, but is it, really? Is it fun to have to sell your house? Is it fun to uproot your family and move across country? Is dealing with immigration your idea of a good time?

I get that the Video Game Industry is fraught with instability. But does it have to be? A layoff like this makes all the gaming blogs, but what about the rounds of layoffs that go on every Christmas? What about the 100 day unpaid “vacations” that non-Full time employees have to take? What about the interns?

How about this whole black book of tricks wrapped in shrivelled human skin that software publishers use so their workers never see a decent dime in their lives?

The problem is that most Triple-A titles are bankrolled by large publishers like EA and Activision. While they are video game companies, they have no interest in even making video games, much less keeping happy employees. That’s because they are publicly traded companies. Their goal is not to make video games, but to make their share price attractive to your Dad’s retirement fund.  If they could sell you a credit card reader in your house that charges you a dollar so you can watch two lights blinking on and off, they’d do it.

So what are employees and consumers supposed to do? Well, the great thing about being in video games is that you can always take your ball and go somewhere else. You can download most game engines for free, and if you want to take your game to market, the fees are almost insignificant. As Minecraft and other indie successes have proved, the key to success is not money from the stock market, but the amount of work you put into your game and your relationship with the fans. And there is nothing EA, Sony, THQ, or anyone else can do to stop you.


Source:The Escapist.