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THQ: Layoffs "Just Business"

THQ on the future of Homefront on GameSpot features THQ executive vice president of Core Games Danny Bilson discussing the just-launched shooter franchise. Along the way he addresses the layoffs that followed completion of the game's development, invoking the Godfather philosophy: "Well in the film business, everybody says good-bye at the end of the movie and then they go work on something else. I wish we had enough work to go around and keep everybody employed all the time, but sometimes it's just business." Thanks IndustryGamers.

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14. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 13, 2011, 08:21 Beamer
 
Yeah, I'm sure that talent jumping to competitors is what set in motion the corporate axe to trim out the remainder. Had nothing to do with market share or maximizing profit

That's not what I said. Of course there's a huge incentive to maximize profits that has set forward a pretty heavy detrimental slide.

What I said is that it was worsened by a lack of employee loyalty. You get no loyalty if you offer no loyalty. That goes for companies and for employees. Why would a corporation be loyal to someone it expects to leave? Why would an employee be loyal to a company it expects to slow his progress?
 
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13. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 21:47 Sty
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 12, 2011, 13:19:
Which started first, employee disloyalty to companies or companies to employees?

Probably each instigated the other, but it isn't like there's a such thing as a "company man" anymore, which moots your argument to me. People get valuable training and education at one company and take it to another very quickly. I certainly will - you rise quicker jumping to new companies than staying with one because you're filling a hole your company may not currently have.

Yeah, I'm sure that talent jumping to competitors is what set in motion the corporate axe to trim out the remainder. Had nothing to do with market share or maximizing profit.

In my experience, I looked for a better gig before the axe swung or the phase out. Not everyone is that fortunate, nor do they always know what/when it is coming. In a perfect world, you're always ahead of it. Sometimes you're advancing, sometimes you're surviving. And it's not always conducive to raising a family by uprooting every year or two.

I'd say the employee behavior is the outcome due to the corporate environment, not the cause.
 
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You know selling dlc before you patch the client doesn't impress upon me the need to support your shit. -massdev
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12. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 21:47 Beamer
 
I'm having trouble picturing Joe Programmer #3 or Additional Artist #2 having much of an impact on how Call of Duty X looks/plays compared to a replacement employee, aside perhaps from quality of their work.

Depends on the size of the team, but typically game design doesn't happen in a bubble. Everyone on the team will get at least one idea into the game, thanks to group brainstorming and playtesting usually much more.

Even the testers, who remind people how to better tweak the graphics on level 3.
 
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11. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 15:06 briktal
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 12, 2011, 14:14:
And Beamer, movies are made with just a few people?

No, they're made by many, but very few have any creative input into them, therefore the rest are commoditized pieces.

You posted Titanic. Outside of maybe 5 actors, the director, the writer, the cinematographer, the director of photography and a few artists and visual designers you could swap anyone out with a peer from another film and get the same film.

Movies aren't collaborative processes. Video games are.

I'm having trouble picturing Joe Programmer #3 or Additional Artist #2 having much of an impact on how Call of Duty X looks/plays compared to a replacement employee, aside perhaps from quality of their work.
 
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10. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 14:14 Beamer
 
And Beamer, movies are made with just a few people?

No, they're made by many, but very few have any creative input into them, therefore the rest are commoditized pieces.

You posted Titanic. Outside of maybe 5 actors, the director, the writer, the cinematographer, the director of photography and a few artists and visual designers you could swap anyone out with a peer from another film and get the same film.

Movies aren't collaborative processes. Video games are.
 
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9. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 13:53 elefunk
 
Quality business is being competent enough to load balance a team to always keep them busy, instead of this bullshit of hiring during crunch, firing after release, hiring again, firing again.  
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8. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 13:48 The Half Elf
 
I'm confused... at the end of any sorta development cycle when the project is complete you don't keep on the entire staff, be it in film, games, construction etc.

And Beamer, movies are made with just a few people?

Just for example, here is the credits for Titanic.
http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800026398/cast

And here are the ones for Modern Warfare 2
(granted it's not a full set due to different language versions)
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-2/credits

 
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7. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 13:19 Beamer
 
It mirrors the markets and reinforces "the new loyalty" model and philosophy.

Which started first, employee disloyalty to companies or companies to employees?

Probably each instigated the other, but it isn't like there's a such thing as a "company man" anymore, which moots your argument to me. People get valuable training and education at one company and take it to another very quickly. I certainly will - you rise quicker jumping to new companies than staying with one because you're filling a hole your company may not currently have.



The real issue with movie comparisons is that movies tend to be the creative culmination of few people. Video games are the creative culmination of many. They're more akin to a sports team, in that chemistry plays a valuable role, than a movie, in which many people tend to be more commodities than creative participants.
 
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6. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 13:13 Sty
 
This isn't new or exclusive to the entertainment (movies and/or game production) industry. This corporate behavior (binge and purge) is global. It mirrors the markets and reinforces "the new loyalty" model and philosophy. Sad really.  
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You know selling dlc before you patch the client doesn't impress upon me the need to support your shit. -massdev
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5. Re: THQ: Layoffs "Just Business" Apr 12, 2011, 12:58 Ruffiana
 
Maybe after a few years of dealing with guilds and unions they would no longer want to be like the movie or TV industry.  
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4. Re: THQ: Layoffs "Just Business" Apr 12, 2011, 11:58 DangerDog
 
Homefail didn't sell as well as they had hoped, but even if they made Call of Duty sized revenue they would have still fired everyone.

The comment sections on that article are pretty funny, THQ could do a little better job with their social marketing bots though.

Homefront is a huge breath of fresh air from the COD series. While COD is GREAT, it's nice to split my time between the two when I'm tired of spawn, run, kill or get killed, repeat. At times I like the frenetic pace of COD but I get tired of it fairly fast at times so, Homefront is where I go to get some play time with more depth and meaning. Both games are more of what I want in the future because I want options with differences.

ha ha, that has to have been written by some THQ floozy underling.

 
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3. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 10:55 Wildone
 
LMAO but in the film business the employee's KNOW the length of their contract usually Im sure not expecting to be continually employed. THQ are sausage suckers, that homefront game made a million for them and they thanked their staff by firing them probably except the 'management' Im sure..  
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2. Re: THQ: Layoffs Apr 12, 2011, 10:41 Wolfen
 
Problem. It is not the movie business. To top that, after my experience in game dev, the industry has a lot more maturing / growing up to do then the film industry as well. Also your key "actors" the ones who make the meat of your "films" don't average in the millions per game.

Edit: I guess comparison to a tv show wasn't good enough either huh? Some of those guys are on their shows for years and years. What a retarded comparison this guy made.
 
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1. Re: THQ: Layoffs "Just Business" Apr 12, 2011, 10:34 nin
 
"Well in the film business, everybody says good-bye at the end of the movie and then they go work on something else. I wish we had enough work to go around and keep everybody employed all the time, but sometimes it's just business."


"Yeah! We could fire you fuckers ever few months...hmmm...get me legal on the phone!!!"


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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