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Johnlarry

What's it like working in the video game industry?

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I heard about this industry being extremely cutthroat and horrific with pay, lay-offs and hours etc...

So I wanted to ask if anyone has any personal opinions or experiences working there.

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8 hours ago, Johnlarry said:

So I wanted to ask if anyone has any personal opinions or experiences working there.

Yes, many people.  

8 hours ago, Johnlarry said:

I heard about this industry being extremely cutthroat and horrific with pay, lay-offs and hours etc...

This is universally true.  You can find hospitals that are cutthroat and pay nurses terribly for long hours. You can find auto mechanics that not only rip off customers, but rip off workers as well.  Factories, assembly lines, call centers, auditors, game studios, movie studios, healthcare, education services, retail sales, skilled trades, and basically every other field all have companies that are horrible to work for.

The new normal is to outsource everything to disposable workers, using B2B contracting where workers are hired by a temp agency to fill permanent roles, from everything including computer programmers, adjunct teaching faculty, doctors hired through third party agencies, all the way down through cleaning crews outsourced through layer after layer until nobody at the building actually knows who is writing the checks.  This lets companies get around many labor laws, since they're not actually abusing their workers, they're merely asking the contracting company for people to do the labor.

That said, there are many good companies out there.

Usually you can tell what you're going to get by paying attention during interviews.  If you go to interview and everyone is in their 20's, nobody has pictures of their families, the benefits package is mostly about personal health insurance and health savings accounts, and there is a bunch of food in the kitchen, you can expect a lot of late nights and immature (meaning difficult, buggy, and generally painful) work processes. Double the points against them if the interview lasts until after 5:00 PM, quadruple the bad points if the interview for a game company takes place on a weekend since normal tech workers are out of the office.  However, if you go to the interview and find a mix of people including many people aged 40+, the company offers retirement benefits as a perk, and you can see evidence of meetings being called before 9:00 AM, you can expect a much better conditions because experienced workers and old people won't put up with as much nonsense. 

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