Hard Times

The Games industry like many others, has found itself on shaky ground of late. The Economic down turn has affected everyone in some way, and the games industry must adapt to these new conditions. This isn't to say games will not be made, it just means the purse strings have to be tightened. Lots of companies are doing this by outsourcing ever increasing amounts of work. They can get equally skilled employees at significantly lower costs in non-EU or US countries. The hardest hit are small independent companies operating on small profit margins, and with a tight group of employees. However no one is immune, in late December Sony reported that it would be cutting more than 8000 jobs, and that they will be decreasing its investments into its electronic research by 30% by March 2010. Also EA has recently cut 1,100 jobs in its worldwide operations. Some people have speculated that these cut backs have little to do with the global slowdown, and are just an example of streamline and cost effective management. EA's John Riccitiello summed up by saying developers were "too fat, too reliant on where things were.

All this being said the money is still out there. 2008 witnessed a new sales record with a raise in both video game hardware and software by 19% over 2007. What is certain is competition for audiences will increase, studios will put more pressure on developers to create sure fire hits and budgets will be stricter.

In terms of my future career, things are looking tough and competition for jobs high. Even if the economic problems are resolved developers will unlikely want to find themselves in the same position again.

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