The IGDA Calls Out Studios to Prevent More Layoffs

2024 is already a dire year in the industry

While 2023 and 2024 have been filled with great game releases, thousands of people who make these titles are struggling.

As of April 2024, over 8,500 developers have lost their jobs in the gaming industry. This is a startling number, and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) wants studios to step up and do something about it.

For those who don’t know, the IGDA is a nonprofit membership organization that helps support and work with developers worldwide, advocating for them where possible and connecting members with peers to help promote their development. This group (and likely many who are not a part of the IGDA) has had enough; they are writing a series of requests to studio leaders to implement more “sustainable measures to avoid unnecessary layoffs.”

What the IGDA is Asking For

The organization is acting as a voice for its members and relaying their thoughts and feelings about the industry’s current state. They write, “Studios must better plan for sustainable growth and stop driving talent away from their own companies and the greater industry.”

To do this, the IGDA has listed several steps the studios and the heads of these companies can do:

  • Maintain and plan short and long-term forecasts. This will help predict the accelerated growth typically followed by periods of decline.
  • Reduce headcount reductions. It may help with short-term finances, but it’s “costly both in terms of team morale and training and onboarding.”
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously to prevent headcount fluctuations and better utilize talent if possible.
  • Maintain a form of transparent communication to address well-being and job security concerns
  • Support diversity initiatives internally to retain the increase in diversity in the industry.
  • Support departing employees to ensure their well-being and future success.

It remains to be seen if initiatives like this will “solve” the problem or the seemingly unstable gaming market, but it is definitely a start.

It’s not all bad, some workers have successfully band together to create unions of hundreds of people. This gives them even more support and the power to have their voices heard. Unfortunately, these unions are only at a select few studios.

The IGDA says that with the above list and its members, it will work to create resources to help studios be more prepared for current and future success and the well-being of developers.

Currently, you can use some openly available resources. For example, a list of handy links and forms that can help devs find out more about the cost of living and job search boards.