Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ain't what it used ta be

Yesterday I got an email from a friend. I’ve known him for years and he’s in the game industry. Or at least he was—the email was letting me know that he was just let go.
This is the second friend I know who’s been let go by a major game publisher in the past two months. And I’ve got two other friends who both decided to walk away from the industry within that same period. Three of them are people I’ve worked with. All four are people I like and respect. [And no, I'm not going to name names.]
I’m not sure what this means. I know that several companies have been tightening their belts lately, which includes letting some employees go and consolidating workloads. I suspect the two who walked voluntarily saw this coming and figured they’d at least control their own departure rather than having it thrust upon them. I can’t help but feel it’s a bad sign for the industry to lose such talented people, and so many all at once.
Meanwhile, I’m still waiting on one company to publish a book I wrote six years ago, and am hopefully close to closing a deal on a book I wrote two years ago for a company that has since folded. I’ve got at least one other project in limbo while the company it was for sorts things out internally.
On the other hand, I recently got a letter from a company letting me know they were still around and working to resolve old debts and get back on their feet. I wrote several pieces for them a few years back, and one of those was just released.
I also know some people are reconsidering their place in the industry and modifying how they do business—not getting out but restructuring to cut away parts they think are no longer worthwhile and trying different business models.
Strange. I wonder what the industry will look like in a year’s time, and whether I’ll still recognize it—or know many of the people in it.


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