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Call to Action: Studio Leadership Must Prioritize Sustainable Efforts to Prevent Layoffs

11 Apr 2024

Studio leaders in the game industry must implement sustainable measures within their organizations to avoid unnecessary layoffs.

With more than 8,700 game developers affected by layoffs this year, the gravity of this situation and its impact on the industry cannot be overstated.

Developers hold legitimate concerns regarding the stability of their careers and the industry as a whole. Talented individuals, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, may seek opportunities beyond the games industry due to the instability, leading to skill gaps and underrepresentation of various demographics.

To foster a resilient and thriving industry, studios must better plan for sustainable growth and stop driving talent away from their own companies and the greater industry.

Studios Must:

  • Maintain short term and long term company and industry forecasts with an understanding that periods of accelerated growth are usually followed by periods of stagnation or even decline. 
  • Keep headcount reductions to a minimum. Drastically reducing headcount only helps short term finances and is costly both in terms of team morale and in training and onboarding when those teams need to be regrown later. 
  • Reduce risk and headcount fluctuations by maintaining multiple projects if possible. Spreading risk over several projects in different stages of development provides a better chance of success and a place to utilize talent as they ramp off of other projects. 
  • Maintain transparent communication with your team and address concerns related to well-being and job security when raised.
  • Support diversity initiatives and internal roles to help retain the increased diverse talent the games industry has developed over the last decade.
  • Provide ample support to departing employees to ensure their wellbeing and future success.

The IGDA will work to create resources for studio leaders and other decision makers to help them to sustainably grow, reduce headcount reductions, and better forecast the future of their company and the game industry. If you would like to contribute to any of these resources or to recommend or provide additional resources, please contact us at info@igda.org

Together, we can navigate the current challenges facing developers and the industry at large with resilience and empathy while building a sustainable future for games and all those who create them.

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