Game industry 'too volatile' to assure job stability

Game industry 'too volatile' to assure job stability
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

October 22nd 2012 at 11:15AM

Anyone who believes in long-term job security is 'kidding themselves', says Tantalus CEO

The games industry is too volatile to assure developers they have a long-term job, the CEO of Tantalus has claimed.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Tom Crago said he was previously forced into laying off staff at the Mass Effect Wii U studio despite 12 prior years of profitability because of the financial crisis and the transition away from console to other platforms such as mobile.

He added that any developer or studio head that felt they could guarantee job security was kidding themselves, and said he would attempt to be more transparent about the challenges of the business to employees.

"I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could do things better, from a studio perspective, and I made a lot of changes," said Crago.

"Fundamentally, and I realise this is a little controversial, I came to the conclusion that in an industry as volatile as video games, it's impossible to put your hand on your heart and say to any of your developers that their job is going to be secure for the next five or ten years.

"I feel like anyone who does that is kidding themselves, and so I determined to be much more transparent about our business, both in terms of its challenges and its successes."

Despite the layoffs, Crago said he was now back to hiring staff at Tantalus, and claimed employees were now paid more than they had been before.

He also said that Tantalus now shares 20 per cent of profits with its staff each year as well as other bonuses, with the idea to help developers gauge the health of the company based on performance results.