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The IGDA calls for "sustainable measures" to stop mass layoffs and "stop driving talent away"

The International Game Developers Association calculates that more than 8,700 game developers have lost their jobs so far this year
The IGDA calls for
  • Over 8,700 game developers have been laid off in 2024 alone according to the IGDA
  • The IGDA claims that a company making drastic reductions to its headcount will only see short-term financial benefits
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The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is calling for studio leaders across the games industry to implement "sustainable measures within their organisations" as a countermeasure against unnecessary knee-jerk layoffs.

Over 8,700 game developers have been laid off in 2024 alone, the statement claims, set to impact the industry in a way that "cannot be overstated".

The IGDA therefore argues that companies must understand periods of accelerated growth are often followed by natural periods of stagnation or even decline, and that reducing headcounts is a shortsighted financial solution.

Preserving headcounts

According to the IGDA, a company making drastic reductions to its number of employees will only see short-term financial benefits, while long-term this comes with serious costs. Team morale takes a hit, for example, impacting future results; and when those teams need to be regrown later, time and resources must be put into hiring and training new staff to replace those laid off.

The association suggests companies maintain multiple projects at varying developmental stages if possible to maximise the chances of a developer’s success and minimise the risk to its headcount. This would also give employees other in-progress projects to transition to if one idea doesn’t work out.

Communication is important too, naturally, with the IGDA advocating for teams to be able to voice concerns, especially regarding mental wellbeing and their job security. Offering support to employees who are and have been laid off is also important.

"Developers hold legitimate concerns regarding the stability of their careers and the industry as a whole," the IGDA said.

"Talented individuals, particularly those from historically marginalised communities, may seek opportunities beyond the games industry due to the instability, leading to skill gaps and underrepresentation of various demographics. To foster a resilient and thriving industry, studios must better plan for sustainable growth and stop driving talent away from their own companies and the greater industry."

Last week Values Value and InGame Job opened the 2024 edition of the Big Games Industry Employment survey looking to understand how layoffs are affecting confidence in the future of the games industry.