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IGDA calls for action on layoffs

The International Game Developers Association today released a “call to action” for studio leaders to avoid unneeded layoffs.

“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,” the group said.

“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 address this, the IGDA gave the following list of six things studios “must” do:

● Maintain short term and long term company and industry forecasts with an understanding that periods of accelerated growth are usually followed by periods of stagnation or even decline

● Keep headcount reductions to a minimum. Drastically reducing headcount only helps short term finances and is costly both in terms of team morale and in training and onboarding when those teams need to be regrown later.

● Reduce risk and headcount fluctuations by maintaining multiple projects if possible. Spreading risk over several projects in different stages of development provides a better chance of success and a place to utilize talent as they ramp off of other projects.

● Maintain transparent communication with your team and address concerns related to well-being and job security when raised.

● Support diversity initiatives and internal roles to help retain the increased diverse talent the games industry has developed over the last decade.

● Provide ample support to departing employees to ensure their wellbeing and future success.

The group also linked to a list of various layoff support resources in the industry, both those from the IGDA itself and those from other individuals and organizations.

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