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Game Industry Advice - Being Exploited

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It's becoming a common occurrence, that lots of talented people wooed by the prospect of riches, or just the chance to do something they really want to do, are exploited for their talents and abilities.

In the pass few months I have been in a continuous battle trying to stop people from being exploited by one such known "Company". To avoid and legal finger pointing and such, I'll leaving the companies name out.

If your new to the games industry, just finished studying, or a freelance artist looking to break into the industry. Be very careful, be very VERY careful. Your first game studio job can make or break how you feel about working in the games industry. Not only that, you'll work away with not much to show for it.

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Here's some steps you should take before you go for any job, or job interview.

Research the company - do they have a website, have they released any games, are they owned by a large or well known publisher, do they have people working for them already, are they a new company, how many years experience do they have.

Ask people who have been in the industry or are currently in the industry - Your best resource for information is knowing someone who is in the industry already. News travels fast, so they may hear the inside news about a particular company/person that isn't public knowledge.

How realistic is their vision - how much work do they need to get done at what price and time. If they expect you work for free, with promises of reimbursement, don't fall into the trap. Leave politely and never see them again.

Did they give you a job through MSN - This may sound stupid but believe me when I say, it has been done. Any "serious" posing company who offers you a job through MSN, is a good sign of how disorganised they are. Most or at least 99% of the time, a company will contact you via email, or telephone, once they have reviewed your folio.
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If the studio you are going for speaks nothing of the future, and barely mentions anything about the present or past achievements, what they already have achieved, and is currently in place. Run... run for your life. Because usually, they're delusional and egotistical maniacs, who really don't have much of a clue about what they're doing, looking to exploit others to get they're work done for them, only to shaft them later on.

I myself have been exploited in the past, and those experiences with the business were essentially a waste of time. Not only was I not able to list them as experience in my resume, I was also out of pocket for the work that I did do.

So be careful. It's better to waste your time doing your own thing or continuing with your studies, then take a risk with a business/studio/company promising you fame, glory and riches. Because doing all the hard work on your folio and making yourself appealing to a real studios, usually lands you one of the greatest jobs in the world!!!
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