Game publisher Take-Two to lay off workers

Originally published at: Game publisher Take-Two to lay off workers | Boing Boing

1 Like

Man, a game developers’ union would be terrible for the industry, wouldn’t it?


I know this has been discussed in other threads but many tech workers are indoctrinated to be furiously opposed to unions because of this mistaken belief that they have cushy jobs and are paid too much to need to worry about them. Or that they are simply too valuable to fire.

I may have felt that way in the past as a young and naive person, but I’ve been in the game long enough to know this is abjectly false. I consider myself good at my job; I’m a valued contributor, a principal engineer, I have lots of knowledge and expertise. I also have no doubt that if I was fired or hit by a bus yesterday that the business would chug along just fine without me. I often wish I had a union watching my back, especially as I get older and more concerned about being discriminated against because of that.

Happenings across the industry from crunch time controversies in gaming (gaming is particularly notorious but isn’t alone in deadline-driven misery), worker-hostile things like “unlimited vacation”, aggressive “return to office” campaigns, shoving knowledge workers into bullpens, and Twitter’s ongoing fuckery somehow still haven’t phased many.




A former co-worker in game development used to call us “migrant laborers” because jobs were often short-term and getting another job would often involve moving some distance. It’s doubly true in publishing - for example, you have QA and support teams that get ramped up for big game launches (especially online games), but then once the game is out (or the online game loses popularity), they don’t have a job. Even periods of publisher expansion mean there’s mergers and buy-outs happening, and that often causes some job redundancies and layoffs across the board. Publisher-owned studios get shut down all the time, and AAA games need lots of people on art teams, but they may not have anything to do when they’re done with a particular game, so they get let go until they’re needed again.

It’s like a cross between the tech industry, where you have permanent, salaried employees and maybe some contractors, with the movie/TV industry, where you bring people on to work only for the duration of a specific project. Except without the salaries of the tech industry, nor the protections or benefits (or salaries, really) of the film industry.

Which is weird that the game industry commonly held a similar anti-union stance, as everyone in the industry recognizes they’re not paid well and the jobs aren’t cushy. (Players of games often believe that, though.) There just seems to be this pervasive anti-union sentiment among the young people with middle-class backgrounds that largely make up the industry - people just got brainwashed with weird ideas of how unions work. The industry itself cultivated a “this is a labor of love, you’re lucky to work here, whatever the conditions - which are what they are” attitude that helped with that. People just burned out and quit the industry rather than even think about fighting for better conditions.

I almost feel like greater awareness of the conditions outside the industry have helped change people’s minds about unionizing inside the industry, for some reason. Or maybe it’s because the jobs have become increasingly specialized and it’s become more difficult to take job skills and apply them anywhere else (except for programmers, who are the best paid, but also a minority of the workforce). Or maybe people finally realized what unions could do for them, something that didn’t occur to workers before (in part because they mistook the way things functioned as inherent parts of the industry). Or all the above.


Surely not billions…? What’s the figures on this?

Mistaken first line, they call revenue bookings, it has 2 billion in cash so it has certainly taken in billions. Source 2020 annual report which popped up when I typed Take Two turnover into a search engine.

Sorry $3billion revenue. Saw the other headline figure in another report. Since up to 3.5 in 2022. Up from just over a billion in 2011


“better align our organisation with our long-term priorities.”

Increased bonus for Executive Officers?

1 Like

Stock buybacks to enrich the shareholders AND senior managers?

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.