Their Studio Gave them an Amusement Park Ticket—and Then a Pink Slip

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How would you like to be fired? Do you want to go out in a take-this-job-and-shove-it blaze of glory? Would you like security to martyr you, marching you out by the elbows, as you clutched your box of things like Richard Gere carrying off Debra Winger? Would you just want the chance to look into the soulless black eyes of the fuckmaggot beancounter who sacrificed you to appease the shareholders?


Truth is, you'll never get a departure even half as cinematic. Not unless you're going to quit first (which is a different story altogether). If you're a good video game developer, if you do your job and pitch in and persevere through crunch and deliver by all the milestones, then the best you can hope for is to be fired after a celebratory trip to an amusement park.

Tales from the Trenches, a repository of horror stories from the games industry, tells us about the most crass way to destroy someone's life: Send them out to Six Flags for a well earned day of fun and, while they're gone, lock up the building so no one can take anything out, and then strand them at the park with no ride home.

"I simply cannot properly describe the dark humor and delicious chaos of the situation," writes the anonymous tipster, as his studio began to realize they had been herded out like cows to slaughter. Indeed, while they were riding The Demon (I have to assume it was The Demon at California's Great America, in Santa Clara), someone was completing a "passive dissolution" of their studio. I.e., it had been sold to another publisher, who took whatever assets it had and shut down everything else.

This is how video gaming's Wonkaland industry treats its oompa-loompas, kids. Everyone is disposable. People are pros about it though, as evidenced by the gallows humor everyone showed as they realized that bus was never coming. They understand the need to deliver a hit to keep their job—one performed with a hell of a lot more courage than it took to close a studio while its workers were enjoying a lie.

Go read it. This is the industry so many aspire to join.

Have a GREAT time. [Tales from the Trenches]



I read this earlier today and it disgusts me that a group of people can be treated like that by their company.

Fine you want to fire everyone, then do it properly. Don't leave them stranded in the middle of nowhere with no ride home. God forbid something happened to someone as they tried to figure out a way home.

We repeatedly hear these horror stories about mass firings and crazy hours. Aren't there Unions for situations like this?