IGDA warns industry to avoid unnecessary layoffs

IGDA warns industry to avoid unnecessary layoffs

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has published a call to action warning about the damage layoffs have on the industry.

In an email, the organisation wrote that studios must plan for growth rather than pushing talent away.

"With more than 8,700 game developers affected by layoffs this year, the gravity of this situation and its impact on the industry cannot be overstated," the IGDA said.

Developers hold legitimate concerns regarding the stability of their careers and the industry as a whole. Talented individuals, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, may seek opportunities beyond the games industry due to the instability, leading to skill gaps and underrepresentation of various demographics."

The organisation also gave six recommendations of how studios should behave:

  • Maintain short term and long term company and industry forecasts with an understanding that periods of accelerated growth are usually followed by periods of stagnation or even decline.
  • Keep headcount reductions to a minimum. Drastically reducing headcount only helps short term finances and is costly both in terms of team morale and in training and onboarding when those teams need to be regrown later.
  • Reduce risk and headcount fluctuations by maintaining multiple projects if possible. Spreading risk over several projects in different stages of development provides a better chance of success and a place to utilize talent as they ramp off of other projects.
  • Maintain transparent communication with your team and address concerns related to well-being and job security when raised.
  • Support diversity initiatives and internal roles to help retain the increased diverse talent the games industry has developed over the last decade.
  • Provide ample support to departing employees to ensure their wellbeing and future success.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.