On thing we want to accomplish with RaidWarning is the humanization of games development Living in Seattle and having numerous friends in the industry is both amazing and heartbreaking all at the same time. The games industry is much like the film industry in many ways, people are hired on for a project, and unless the game is highly successful, quite often are let go shortly after launch. In turn, everyone knows each other as they’ve likely worked on a project together at some point in time in their career.
In 2012 we saw one of the biggest years in MMO launch history, although Star Wars: The Old Republic technically hit just days before the calendar hit 2013, we saw games like The Secret world, Tera, Guild Wars 2 and Blizzard try to make a living off the massively multiplayer market. While Bizzard obviously holds top spot, the only company to actually weather the storm was ArenaNet, with GW2 pushing 2-2.5 million units. MMOs generally require more developers than most other genres, and will often cut a majority of the developers after launch simply because they’re no longer needed to sustain or generate new content. 2012 however saw many MMO creators unable to gain the amount of subscribers or box sales needed to maintain staffing levels and thus, the genre suffered some of the heaviest losses. Sometimes making a great game still isn’t enough to maintain employment.
If you take the studios that scored above a Metacritic 80 but still encountered layoffs, over half of them are MMOs. No console-focused developers with a 80+ Metacritic had any layoffs.
Check out the PA Report’s study on layoffs in the games industry to find out which regions were hit the hardest and whether or not the games industry is dying.