After a couple of days to stew over the news of Irrational Games inevitable demise, much has been brought to light about the incredible community of video game developers that have come forth to support those who are being laid off. Twitter has been flooded with job listings from studios all over, with #irrationaljobs trending on the social media giant. There is even a Google Doc that is constantly being updated that provides resources for these unfortunate developers who are about to be uprooted.
This event should be a reflection on the video games industry as a whole. People pour their heart and soul into these multi-million dollar games for years, and receive the credit where credit is due… in the game credits. Irrational Games has a huge staff, all of whom will be forgotten in the end when the identity of BioShock Infinite is coupled with one individual, Mr. Ken Levine.
But that’s just how this goes. Movies are the exact same way. You associate Joss Whedon with The Avengers, but may fail to think of the guys in the background, holding boom mics and working the cameras. Luckily, those individuals are supported through a union, something that will support and protect these workers. There is no such thing for a video game developer.
Unions are a whole other beast, but I think the take home message from this closure is that the video game developer community is freakin’ awesome. I won’t act like I know anything about what a developer has to deal with on a day to day basis, but it sounds like even through all that hard work and long hours, there are still people who have time to look out for their peers. This is becoming a rarity in today’s business world, and I give major props to all of you.
And to Mr. Levine, I understand your desire to focus on narrative gameplay with high replayability, and your wanting to work with a smaller team that will give you more control of said product. There has been overwhelming support for the possibilities of what you have in store for us in your newest venture. And freeing yourself by starting a new studio with a few devs may give you what you want, but Take-Two is still footing the bill, and I believe that they will, in the end, still put similar pressures on you and your smaller studio that you would have encountered still at Irrational.
Good luck to all of those affected by the closing of Irrational Games, and good luck to Ken Levine in his newest pursuit.
What are your feeling about the closure of Irrational Games? Sound off in the comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts!