Game Companies May Be Evil, But Most of Their Employees Are Not
So THQ has officially died and remaining employees were told on Friday that they had a finite amount of time to collect their personal effects and get the hell out of dodge. THQ has been known for a lot of things over the years, but the reality is that most people within the gaming industry are not exactly shedding tears over the departure of yet another bloated publisher in a marketplace that needed some serious culling. As someone who has been interacting with people involved in all aspects of game development for a while now, I can tell you that even though most gamers at one point or another aspire to work within the industry, you probably want nothing to do with it.
Sure, there are some of the big time visionaries in the world of gaming, the big names that we all know about and revere and the reality is that your ideas might just be as good if not better than their ideas that got them into that position, but to get to where they are, you have to put up with a lot. Most people who work in game design float from studio-to-studio and publisher-to-publisher. The concept of job security is almost non-existent no matter how impressive the portfolio of titles you contributed to is. The hours will be long, the pay isn’t as great as you’d imagine it to be, often times you have to move for your job and wherever you can find work and you probably just won’t be treated all that well.
There has been a lot of talk about the evil THQ and how many are happy that they are dead. In a way, I am happy that THQ is gone, but the reality of the situation is that the decisions of the few at top cost a lot of good, hard-working people their jobs and their shot at achieving their dreams. There are a lot of really cool people who help to make these games that we all play and love a reality and yes, even the worst games have some cool people involved and no matter what they feel they are just following orders.
We all understand how the gaming industry is sometimes like an odd monolith that stands on top of a hill, but the cogs that make everything tick are just normal people with families and who probably have similar tastes in games as your or I would. It is a shame that some serious missteps in judgement led to so many job losses, but hopefully there were some lessons learned and we’ll maybe see the next great game studio emerge after the fall of THQ, stranger things have happened.
Before anyone asks, the whole idea of “game journalism” or blogging is really not as romantic as you would imagine it to be, either. As with anything else, you do something because you have a passion for it, not because you think that it will make you rich and famous. If you do get rich and famous from it, good for you, if not, just enjoy what you are doing.