Folks, the time has come. The gaming industry is imploding.
Recent weeks have seen event after event after event where companies within the industry are making poor decisions and facing immense backlash and consequences for them.
First on the docket is the most recent. Popular gaming magazine “The Escapist” recently fired their editor in chief, Nick Calandra, due to him not meeting profit goals. In response, the entirety of The Escapists video team, including massive draws to the channel like Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, host of the magazines humorous game’s review show Zero Punctuation. I repeat, their entire video team left the company, in solidarity with Nick Calandra, and are already founding their own company.
This is only the latest in a ton of profit oriented thinking that has been biting corporations in the butt. Weeks ago we saw layoffs at Bungie affecting roughly 100 employees. People were quick to jump to Bungie’s defense when the critique first started flowing, trying to state that Sony was responsible, but no, management at Bungie caused the layoffs, citing poor profits from “Destiny 2”. This caused delays in both their current projects, “Marathon” and “Destiny 2: The Final Shape”, not to mention calls for players to cancel their pre-orders for The Final Shape, and to boycott and further purchases for “Destiny 2”.
At the same time, more recent news about the Epic Games Store shows that for its entire 5 year existence, it has not been profitable. Thoughts for the store were that their purchasing of exclusives and their eye-catching Weekly Free Games would net the 50% of all PC Gaming Revenue.
All of these have the common factor of the same lesson. “Profit Focus isn’t working”. More and more companies are being punished for prioritizing their own pockets instead of the product. Meanwhile, indie productions have seen huge success due to their smaller size and often passionate developers and managers. Theres little excuse for companies like Bungie, who won last years “Best community Team” at The Game Awards, laying off a giant chunk of their community team. It goes beyond inexcusable, its unacceptable. People need to speak up and make it known that we will not accept poor treatment of developers anymore. Prioritize your product, or we simply stop buying.
Braedon Martin is a Buhler sophomore studying journalism.