This year at GDC, one of IGDA’s big focuses was the quality of life issues that have been brought up by developers. I’m sure most of you have heard of the blog post made by a wife of an EA employee… Since then more have step up and expressed their disappointment with the working conditions within the industry. The GDC round table was hosted by Steve Zimmerman and featured several talkers from the industry.
One interesting point that has been brought up is that the working condition issue is not the core problem but mostly a symptom of bigger problems within the industry. Game development costs are skyrocketing and not expected to get any better with the next generation hardware and the ever increasing graphical demands of the public. Publishers are less and less willing to innovate and take risks, thus going for proven types of game which leave little to creativity.
This is really interesting as it does highlight problems with the developer/publisher model and how the gaming business is more limited in its means of distribution and thus has more limited revenue streams.
Read a partial transcript of the talk at the “Wonderland … Alice’s Place” weblog.