Games Industry Layoffs Games Industry Layoffs 2024 IGDA International Game Developers Association News

The IGDA Puts Out A Call To Studio Leaders Saying “Leadership Must Prioritize Sustainable Efforts To Prevent Layoffs”

Nonprofit organization International Game Developers Association (IGDA) which has members of thousands of game developers from across the world has put out a call to action for studio leaders.

IGDA is telling all studio leaders they need to “prioritize sustainable efforts to prevent layoffs.” In a statement sent to PSU, IGDA says “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 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.”

IGDA continues with a bullet point list of things it says studios “must” do, all of which highlight ways in which layoffs can be avoided, such as “understanding that periods of accelerated growth are usually followed by periods of stagnation or even decline.”

Or in other words, the simple truth that nothing grows forever year on year, and to layoff thousands of people because you were perhaps naive enough to believe that, is not just unacceptable, but shows how unqualified those leaders are for their jobs.

IGDA also points out that layoffs are a short-term fix, something that doesn’t actually help solve financial issues the company may be facing, and ultimately leaves the company in a worse position from which to succeed moving forward, because now it’s without huge swaths of talent it once had.

You can see the full list of bullet points below.

  • 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.

IGDA also highlighted that the organization will work with leaders to “create resources for studio leaders and other decision makers to help them sustainably grow, reduce headcount reductions, and better forecast the future of their company and the game industry.”

The layoffs that marred the games industry for the last few years have reached staggering heights. It’s constantly upsetting to see more layoffs continue, while the executives who made the poor decisions that led to these layoffs they’d call ‘necessary’ still have jobs.

Hopefully IGDA’s call is heard, and the industry can begin moving in a direction where its best talent isn’t driven away by a few people at the top making selfish, short-term choices.

Source – [IGDA Press Release]