Wednesday, 21 April 2010

More layoffs

There were more layoffs at Krome today.

This time it was mostly in Brisbane, but about 5 guys in Melbourne were let go too, which makes it near 100 people in the last 3 months, or a third of the company.

How can an industry which makes so much money be laying off so many people?

I mean, I know why, it's just that no one seems to give a shit.

Everyone is jumping on the mobile/facebook bandwagon, and that might make you a quick buck, but it's terrible for long term stability of the industry.

Problem is, if we're not careful there won't be anyone left in Australia to make games any more - not big budget PS3 / Xbox360 / Wii titles any way.

I used to agree with Walshy when he said Australian Games companies didn't need Government support. His argument was that if we had government support, we'd be forced to make silly games that were culturally relevant to Australia, pretty much like film has to. There's no market for that kind of thing outside Australia, and it's devoting resources away from the main income sources for games companies.

I mean, can you imagine Rabbit Proof Fence: The Game?

But it's obvious to me now that was a misguided and somewhat short sighted statement.

Sure, no one could have predicted the Global Financial Crisis, but if we secured tax breaks for Australian Games Studios, Krome and the other studios that have bled staff and even closed down over the last year would have been buffered from it like other industries have been.

And looking at other film funding initiatives - mostly state based - there's hardly any requirement to be culturally relevant.

And so what if there was? Make a silly game for school kids based on Ned Kelly's life for example, then make something decent for wider audience - at least there would be people still employed. It would be no different to the current projects Krome is trying to become involved in (which, due to NDA agreements, I can't go into).

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