Hiring and Firing
The project-based nature of video game development coupled with the volatility of the industry, and broader political economic shifts towards freelance and independent work has meant that keeping a permanent full-time position for the entirety of one's career is increasingly uncommon. This page will chronicle any newsworthy events related to hiring, firing and layoffs in the video game industry and the commentary that they illicit.
General and Opinion
Kris Ligman on ZAG: Mar 2, 2016: Ex-Halo developers get real about hiring and firing in the game industry
Jason Schreier on Kotaku: June 5, 2014: Why game developers keep getting laid off
Tracey Lien on Kotaku: Sept 20, 2011: What happens to developers when a studio closes
Gamasutra: Jan 12, 2009: Game developer layoffs: The real story
Lauren Weber on The Wall Street Journal: Apr 10, 2017: In the $75 billion videogame industry, hiring people is a last resort
Anthony Farmer on Gamasutra: Mar. 3, 2014: Please fix your hiring practices
Sam Mchkovech on ARS Technica: Mar. 26, 2014: Trolls and hiring practices: women on fixing the games industry
Restrictions on bringing foreign workers into Canada came into conflict with the demand for highly skilled technical workers in Canada's burgeoning video game industry. In 2015 the industry lobbied for exceptions to be made on their behalf.
Chad Sapieha on The Financial Post: Nov 16, 2015: Foreign workers filling talent gaps in Canada’s fast-growing video game industry
Simone Chiose on The Globe and Mail: Feb 23, 2015: Video-game firms press for flexibility on temporary foreign workers
In response, the government launched the Global Skills Strategy to streamline the process for highly skilled technology workers.
Firing, layoffs, and closures
Kotaku ran a five part series in 2014 titled "Video game industry layoff stories" that highlight the personal experiences of video game workers.
Jason Screier on Kotaku: June 20, 2014: Video game layoff stories
Jason Scheier on Kotaku: Aug 6, 2014: 'I learned my company was getting shut down over Twitter'
Jason Schreier on Kotaku: Oct 8, 2014: Waiting five hours to get fired in five minutes
Jason Schreier on Kotaku: Nov 24, 2014: A game industry layoff that didn't suck (and four that did)
Jason Schreier on Kotaku: Feb. 12, 2015: The pizza party where everyone got fired
Other reports of layoffs and firings:
Matthew Handrahan: June 20, 2014: Riot Games offers “Mismatched” new hires cash to walk away
Jason Screier on Kotaku: Feb 10, 2017: Activision has big layoffs despite surpassing financial targets
Bien R. Gruba on iTechPost: Sept 16, 2016: Disney shuts down game studio as it shifts gaming approach to licensing model
Julia Alexandra on Polygon: Sept 15, 2016: Marvel: Avengers Alliance team, other developers hit by Disney layoffs (update)
Allegra Frank on Polygon: Sept 14, 2016: Sony cuts down on San Diego Studio (update)
Alex Wawro on Gamasutra: July 1, 2016: Layoffs rake Aeria Games in the wake of Gamigo merger
Colin Campbell on Polygon: Mar 21, 2016: 5th Cell lays off staff as Scribblenauts: Fighting Words canned
Dan Pearson on GamesIndustry: Sept 14, 2015: Job losses at Sony London as first VR project wraps up
Wesley Yin-Poole on EuroGamer: May 13, 2015: Layoffs hit NaturalMotion's Oxford-based QA department
Brendan Sinclair at GamesIndustry.biz: May 12, 2015: EA lays off staff at Visceral Games
Michael McWhertor on Polygon: May 6, 2015: Zynga laying off 18 perfect of its workforce in effort to cut $100M
GamePolitics: Apr. 16, 2015: 2K Australia closed, entire staff laid off
Samit Sakar on Polygon: Apr. 9, 2015: NCSoft lays off support staff as it moves support operations outside
Alex Wawro on Gamasutra: Mar. 19, 2015: Layoffs strike Driveclub developer Evolution Studios
Eddie Makuch on Gamespot: Mar. 19, 2015: Star Trek Online Dev suffers layoffs
Brendan Sinclair on GamesIndustry.biz: Mar. 18, 2015: Perfect World cuts staff - report
Samit Sarkar on Polygon: Mar. 4, 2015: EA shuts down Maxis Emeryville, studio behind SimCity
GamePolitics: Feb. 12, 2015: Sega plans restructuring and layoffs
Alan Wilson on Gamasutra: Feb. 12, 2015: Layoffs: enough with the corporate spiel. Be honest. Please.
Michael McWhertor on Polygon: Feb. 11, 2015: Layoffs hit former SOE studio Daybreak Game Company, includes EverQuest lead
Alex Wawro on Gamasutra Feb. 11, 2015 : Layoffs sweep SOE as it transitions to Daybreak
Phil Savage on PCGamer: Feb. 5, 2015: Valve don't even fire people like a normal company - Varoufakis on hiring and firing
Wesley Copeland on IGN: Feb. 9, 2015: EA Mobile suffers layoffs
Colin Campbell on Polygon: Jan. 30, 2015: Sega plans massive cuts
Alex Wawro on Gamasutra: Jan. 30, 2015: Shake-up at Sega sees up to 300 jobs cut and an office shuttered
GamePolicits reports on Jan. 26, 2015: Layoffs hit Frontier Developments
Mike Rose on Gamasutra: Sept. 2, 2014: Game studio funded by Maltese government lays off majority of staff, according to reports
Johnny Cullen on VG24/7: Sept. 5, 2011: Crytek slams "misleading accusations" over unfair dismissal
This website, GameJobsWatch.com, tracked the number of job losses in the games industry, although it has not been updated since 2013.
Blaine Kyllo on The Georgia Straight: July 25, 2012: Legal spat highlights gaming industry war for talent
Mike Snider on USA Today: May 28, 2012: Modern Warfare's Jason West, Vince Zampella vs Activision
MMOCulture: Nov. 2011: Snail Games USA - CEO being sued for unfair dismissal and racism