Thousands at Risk as Gaming Industry Sees Record Job Losses Despite Company Profits


Last Year's Gaming Boom

Last year was a game-changer for the gaming industry, with a plethora of critically acclaimed games hitting the market. Gamers rejoiced, but unfortunately, the same cannot be said for those behind the scenes. Shockingly, over 10,000 industry professionals found themselves out of work.

Paradoxical Job Cuts

Despite the surge in game sales, major players like Microsoft and Activision Blizzard made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft, after acquiring Activision Blizzard for a staggering $70 billion, axed nearly 2,000 developers. It's a perplexing move, considering that more game sales should theoretically lead to more job opportunities for developers.

Executive Bonuses and Overpromising

So, what's behind these job cuts? It turns out that CEOs and executives are raking in bigger bonuses than ever, while also setting unrealistic sales targets for their companies. When these sales goals aren't met, instead of taking a hit to their own pay, the higher-ups opt to lay off employees.

A Lesson from Nintendo

Nintendo provides an interesting contrast. After suffering losses from the Wii U's underperformance, then-president Satoru Iwata took a significant pay cut, and other executives followed suit with smaller reductions. This allowed Nintendo to retain its workforce, who went on to develop the wildly successful Nintendo Switch.

The Bleak Reality

Unfortunately, it seems that other companies have not learned from Nintendo's approach. In 2024 alone, there have already been over 5,000 layoffs in the gaming industry, with Microsoft leading the charge. Despite the layoffs, Microsoft recently became the second company in history to surpass a value of $3 trillion, trailing only Apple.

No Job Security, Even in Record-Breaking Companies

These job losses serve as a reminder that even employees at the biggest companies, enjoying record-breaking profits, are not immune to being let go. It's a sobering reality for those in the gaming industry, and a stark contrast to the success enjoyed by the industry as a whole.

If you're interested in learning more about the gaming industry, be sure to check out our article on the silent price increases happening through Deluxe Editions.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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