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Develop For A Day In Their Shoes

This is a short, reactionary blog to recent events. The videogame industry, like a lot of similar industries that essentially sell creativity for profit, is constantly in flux. Personnel are laid off, ownership of developers/publishers shift, and in some cases, these studios and publishing corporations close their doors for good. The last few months in particular have seen many good studios go under and many people lose their jobs. Many projects' very existance remains uncertain, and the videogame industry looks just a bit different than it did last year.

Many gamers across the web, including here on GIO, expressed their sympathies for either a company's fate, or the simple fact that hard-working employees are now out of jobs. I was shocked, however, at some of the misguided attempts to marginalize, or even positively jest at, these losses and shifts. I get that the Internet will always be the Internet, but I'm writing this blog nonetheless in the hope that fellow users are aware of what others have been saying.

LucasArts closing its doors soon

"YES YES YES YES YES YES! MY SPELL WORKED! that was for killing star wars galaxies you exec. jerks! eat and spin on those pink slips! vengence is MINE!"

Video game development is a team-effort. To say that Star Wars Galaxies was abhorrent because of either corporate executives, or other parties involved, is ignoring that fact. This member revels in their fantasies of revenge. By their logic, who cares that employees lost their jobs; this user didn't like a particular game, therefore, the entire developer deserves to go under. Yes, developers and publishers can make frustrating decisions. Still, support the developer, if not the development, of the game. These people need money to survive in society just like you and I, and now that survival is in the balance. The comment above ignores the plight of the employee in favor of nothing more than a hollow jab at executives, who possibly weren't at fault at all.

"Corporate Restructuring" at Square Enix

"If they weren't performing give them the boot. I am glad they are getting fired."

Everyone has experienced downs in life. That's just the way it all goes. People get in car accidents, waste money on business deals, and develop sub-par games all the time. The thing is, I doubt many of the people making mistakes, in game development or in any other instance, enjoy making those mistakes. As an architecture student, I can empathize a little with developers who go under due to poor sales and critical reception. Just last month I had a project that went to sh*t, despite my best intentions. Now that I look back at that project, and others like it, I realize I've been in a sub-par rut this whole time, and now I plan to do better. Time will tell. Tying this thread back to Square Enix, I doubt the studio wanted to make sub-par games. To say that any failure both justifies people losing their income and justifies apathy towards that turn of events is heartless and cold, if not cruel.

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All I want to accomplish with this blog is to make people aware of others' reactions to these job losses, and hopefully, to make others who previously didn't care about, or actually liked that people are out of work, realize that developers and publishers are made up of people like you and me. They need to work, they need to make money, and they need some sort of creative outlet. Remember folks, losing a job is something everyone has to go through, so imagine yourself in these people's shoes. You might not have liked a publisher's business dealings, a game's tweaks and changes, or even the people behind the development curtain, but at least sympathize with these people. I hope that they find their way to new, and even more promising shores.

Happy Gaming!

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