Study: Industry hit by 11,500 layoffs since 2008

Study: Industry hit by 11,500 layoffs since 2008

By Rob Crossley

January 11th 2010 at 3:45PM

New research also tallies â??record number of studio closuresâ??

The global game industry has been hit by as many as 11,500 job losses since late 2008, a new study suggests.

Research by entertainment analyst group M2 Research says that “the final count for layoffs since the economic meltdown in late 2008 reached 11,488 worldwide, with the majority of the losses coming in 2009.”

The study has identified staff redundancies from 95 individual studios, adding that 52 of the affected studios were situated in the US.

M2 adds that the majority of layoffs come at “studio level”, with QA staff often being the first to go.

The analysis group adds that 2009 saw a ‘record number’ of studio closures, including 3D Realms (pictured), various Midway studios and EA’s Pandemic Studios.

Specifically, the research claims that it found 18 studio closures last year – a total number which, on appearance, suggests that the study may have missed a few closures.

The study adds, however, that more studios had filed for bankruptcy and went up for sale.

A large portion of layoffs seems to have come from projects and companies that had difficulty ‘retooling’ for current-gen consoles, the study adds.

“Aside from the cost of retooling, others were so focused on their retooling efforts they weren't able to see the changes in the market and the impact things like digital distribution, casual, and social gaming was starting to have on the market.”