Over the last year the game industry has experienced an unprecedented number of layoffs. Thousands of game developers, producers, writers, and designers were affected, with many questioning whether the volatile industry is worth remaining in.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) released a statement in support of the 8,700+ developers who recently lost their jobs, and a Call to Action to game publishers and owners.

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 the 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.

The Call to Action includes several obvious but important practices to avoid layoffs, such as proper industry forecasts, transparent and frequent communication, maintaining multiple projects, and diversity initiatives.

The IGDA features numerous resources to support those affected by layoffs, and encourages employees to apply for free membership and participation in the Global Mentorship Program.

Game companies and publishers can also benefit from IGDA’s resources, links, and guides, including HR Policy Guidebooks, Resource Management, and Business Sustainability.

The 2023-2024 layoffs were so profound it generated its own Wikipedia entry. Blame has been placed on rising development costs, several high-profile mergers, and an industry slowdown after the gaming boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly every major publisher was involved in layoffs over the last year, including Epic Games, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Amazon Games, Unity, Sony, Sega, and Take-Two.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.