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There's always a layoff. There's always a severance. There's always an exit interview.
Yeah, but maybe they'll...
...I really don't give a shit.
That's kind of weird. I'm not anti-AAA games. I haven't played Bioshock Infinite and can't comment on its apparent and well-attested silliness. I'm all for people going off to experiment with narrative. I do think smaller teams might make more interesting games.
But I just don't care.
I guess I don't care much either.
I care because I worked corporate and a bunch of assholes decided on a whim to restructure the department and lay everyone off. The only difference is everyone knows EY is corporate bullshit. I'm more surprised people think videogames are different.
You forget, Twitter is my main social outlet and so I have a weird perspective on what's important.
Yeah, my reaction was "Ken Levine got sick of what he'd been doing and screwed over a bunch of lower-level employees." Which, I suppose if they want to stop doing Irrational things that's what they're going to do. But aren't videogames notorious for "FINISH THIS FINISH THIS FINISH THIS great job you're fired"?
What I do find amusing is the question of whether the industry is learning from indies and moving towards smaller teams. Maybe one of these days indies will finally understand their model is in no way a challenge to capitalism.
A lot of people have wondered why he laid off a bunch of people instead of just taking the people he wanted and leaving the rest of Irrational intact and functioning.
It's a good question.
One thing this reminds me of is TV and movies. When a movie wraps, or especially a TV show finishes, the studio doesn't close but a lot of people working on the production are out of work.
(I've heard that this is a reason why American TV shows tend to drag on; the showrunners don't want to bring things to an end and effectively fire lots of people; whereas actors in the BBC stable are more likely to be able to find work, which is why I wind up saying things like "The well-known actors in Green Wing are Julian Rhind-Tutt and Tamsin Greig.")
But the thing about those people working on the TV shows and movies? They're unionized. This may place some limits on the impunity with which they can be screwed over, and I'm pretty sure that it means that if they work on a union job during a year they have health insurance the whole year.
I went and checked the info on the closure of Irrational as it seemed I was missing something. I guess I am surprised.
First, Ken Levine is going to work on the thing that Chris Crawford has been getting nowhere on for like two decades, so good luck to him.
Second, this doesn't seem to make a dang bit of sense to me. I'm like: what?
Matt, you should hear the endless arguments in the software industry about a lack of unions. The hard truth is everyone wants to be the Man in secret so no one really wants to start a union. They just want to be their own top dog. This understanding lessens my sympathy a little, but not too much - being trapped in the maw of capitalised creativity means all you see are a couple of dozen sharp fucking teeth.
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
That was Steinbeck. Unfortunately he was a white het cis man, so what does he know?
(Actually that is a misquote, but shut up Goodness.)
It does sound like an unpleasant situation for a lot of Irrational employees to find themselves in. I await with mild curiosity the first anonymous blog, interview with the press or (preferably) Reddit AMA.
Post edited by Eric_Brasure at 2014-02-20 14:15:57
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