Toxic management cost an award-winning game studio its best developers

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Earl Earl 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #22690
    ZLoth
    ZLoth
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    From The Verge:

    Toxic management cost an award-winning game studio its best developers
    How the $36 billion video game industry burns out its best employees

    FULL ARTICLE HERE


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    #22704
    Earl
    Earl
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    As much as I like video games… I have absolutely no desire to work in that field. And this craziness with burnout due to trying to hit arbitrarily set dates issued from on high by the marketing department with no regard for how difficult it will be to have a live, working game on the shelves by that date, is nothing new – ask Tod Frye (Atari 2600 Pac-Man) or Howard Scott Warshaw (Atari 2600 E.T.).

    Several years ago, I noted with some amusement that a lot of the former Atari, Activision, Imagic, etc. guys are now in the business of doing their own mobile games. After hearing some of their stories, including how many marriages some of them went through……I get it. That business chews you up, spits you out, and expects you to crawl back through the jaws of the beast for more.

    #24595
    ZLoth
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    Even though I have been with the same tech company since 2006 and actually survived several… “reductions in force”, the fact is that I haven’t considered my position stable for several years. My focus has been to get rid of debt, put as much away into the retirement funds, and make sure I have money saved up. True, I have taken a nice trip or two, but not at the expense of paying it off for several months afterward (at least financially).

    Part of the problem, and which leaves me scratching my head, is why some of these developers are located in the most expensive parts of the country. The cost of a decent home in San Rafael, CA (where Telltale Games was located north of San Francisco) per Zillow is minimum $700k… and that’s for a home in foreclosure. I have already decided that I will NOT work in the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, or San Diego. The only limitation in software development nowadays is having a good, solid high-speed Internet connection. There are many places in California that have much cheaper cost-of-living than the ultra-expensive Bay Area.


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by ZLoth ZLoth.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by ZLoth ZLoth.
    #24633
    Earl
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    Warner Bros. has a sizeable video game development unit in Salt Lake City. There are always openings being posted for it – 25% or so quoting a decent pay rate, but 75% or so posting a pay rate comparable to what I was making…in Arkansas.

    Now think back to how hard it was to find a house to rent here, and how expensive it is to stay in this house, and all the barriers to entry that I ran into before signing the lease on this place (some of them completely ridiculous, including the incident of discrimination on religious grounds).

    The problem isn’t with the cost of living in California (though that is indeed a huge problem in its own right). The problem is with the industry. The managers and bosses want to have a certain lifestyle, but they’re doing it on the back of developers who discover that the cost of working in that industry that might allow you to have that kind of nice home…is never being able to spend any kind of meaningful time in that nice home. And then what was it all for?

    I haven’t put in for any of those jobs, though they’re always looking for graphic artists. For one, I’m a dinosaur by that industry’s standards. But mainly…I moved here to be with my kids. Getting into that industry would only ensure that I would rarely, if ever, get to see them.

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