So 38 Studios announced a company-wide layoff today, and the closing of Big Huge Games, due to financial troubles. For those who don’t know, 38 Studios was a promising company founded by MLB pitcher Kurt Schilling, due to his passion for MMORPGs. They released Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning back in February, but unfortunately, it didn’t sell well enough to recoup the costs, and the sad result is before us now.
However, there is a glimmer of something that I want to focus on. Following the announcements, 38 Studios was flooded on Twitter by other studios saying “by the way, we’re hiring.” As sad as it is to see a studio go down, times like this remind me why I love the video games industry. This list was compiled voluntarily for the employees, and includes over a hundred currently-hiring studios, from the huge names like Microsoft, Ubisoft, Blizzard, to medium ones like our beloved ArenaNet, to tiny studios like High Voltage.
If you don’t know, the video game industry can be rough. Really rough. Getting in to begin with almost requires you to already have studio experience, and even with that, you’d better be good at networking. Once you’re a part of the industry, employees tend to be shuffled from position to position, game to game, studio to studio like so many playing cards, and as today reminds us you never know when an entire project will be canned and you’ll have to find someplace else.
So it’s amazing, truly amazing and heartwarming, to see the studio outreach today. I just wanted to point that out, and give proper honor to you great guys and girls in great studios reaching out to help a colleague in a bind. Thank you for your work and your humanity.
Everyone from 38 Studios, I wish you luck. I think you’ll all be just fine.