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Industry winds of change
by Mark Soderwall on 04/17/13 11:05:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Silhouette of man walking with ominous dark swirling clouds in the background

Industry winds of change:                 

 

Discouragement seems to loom like a heavy cloud for many of us in the game industry. The feelings of being powerless towards our future in development or even the feelings of insecurity we may harbor towards the jobs we have, struggling with the foreboding anticipation of the other shoe getting ready to drop!

The industry has reached another critical tipping-point it would seem, where convention & status-quo have a very real chance of turning on its ear. The silver lining is in the simple truth that the industry is still made up of creative people. Individuals full of passion and amazing talents and innovative ideas. Now more than ever is the time to place those creative attributes to not only our game productions but towards serious application in how our industry needs to improve moving forward.

The industry places such a high demand on all of us, the time has finally come to turn the tables and place a high demand back! Many times we allow these faceless entities to take control from us because we feel they provide us our only outlet for creative expression and income!

Have we really allowed ourselves to become so complacent and apathetic in accepting such limited expectations? What about our real desire towards quality of life? If we really stop to think about it, we're not lucky to be in the industry... the industry is lucky to have us! We, the sabot wearing talents churning out games, designs, art & code into the wee hours many times away from family, friends and weekends! While developers offer us a paycheck and a flashy break room espresso maker, it doesn't offer us many times the quality of life we so desperately require outside their four walls!

It brings to remembrance the serious controversy in 2003 of the "EA Spouses."

This event happened over a decade ago and it's sad to see what the industry hasn’t learned since then. Even a more sobering observation is that we haven't placed a greater demand on it! However, things are dramatically different now. The advent of free game engines, digital distribution, crowd funding and formal game education, our corporate shackles have become much looser. So why do we feel the need to stay bound to them, like the elephant tied to a small peg in the ground?!

We have so much more power and influence now than they ever did back then! It's time we muster our resolve and unify our voices to bend control and quality of life back towards the talents who make the games for studios worldwide!

I understand that with any real change comes very real risk and that the affect isn't accomplished overnight... However, the more we blink our eyes open to the power we really possess in a unified voice, the greater opportunities that will begin to manifest in the industry towards their will not always bending towards themselves... but to us!


Mark Söderwall
Executive Consultant & Career Coach 

 

 


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