Publishers fireing people all over

You heard the news. Activision fires 800 people despite best year ever in terms of revenue. Arena.net, the operator of Guildwars, seems to get large layoffs. EA will fire a lot of people from their Australian studio (For Americans: that's near the Hobbit place, not the one in the Alps).

Longtime readers of my blog know why this happens now. Others can read my 6-year-old entries here:



Let's take the Activision case. Why fire 800 people when you had a record year? The reason is, you don't fire people due to the current year's results, but what you see in your forecast of the next. If you look at Activision's portfolio for 2019/2020 there is a large gap of original titles. Even Blizzard, part of Activision, said there is no new Blizzard game coming for a while. So the next one or two years will look bleak for Activision. That's why you optimize your company and fire the bottom 10%.

I am not defending this, I am just explaining. The one thing you can blame Activision is that they knew this is coming, its poor planning (and letting Bungie leave, wtf?).

Activision needs to invest their best teams into the next console generation. As the current one will drop in revenue in terms of software and the new one won't do much at first that gap is what we call transition years. EA is very experienced in this and already cut off workforce last year and will continue this year. If you google back into 2012 you will notice the same happened.

This transition year might not be as bad as the previous ones though as the rumored backward compatibility of the next generation, the Switch and the mobile market might buffer some of the previous revenue losses.




So Bungie got Destiny back - and finally can run it as a proper game as a service, which Activision refuses to adapt for most of their products (aside from Blizzard). Mobile games go GaaS for some years. In fact, most successful games today are GaaS games, even GTA V or Red Dead 2 are managed as GaaS.

What is it? Look at this video from 2011 showing Knowledge from 1997 which again has been gathered for 20 years at that point. GaaS is old. The knowledge though is deluded due to the death of subscription MMO's - at least in the classic industry. To learn about GaaS all you need to do is to google - and watch talks from 1997 ;)


Happy New Year - here is whats up ...

2018 was a year full of travel. You will have access to most of my talks which were taped. I also published the ones online for download. So what's coming 2019?

I am busy with two large clients so I actually stopped taking new ones - but I do have partners I can recommend working for you. So don't worry.

I will also cut down my conference visits as I am starting my own mobile game project soon. Watch this space as soon as we can talk about it.

The next conference up is White Nights Berlin. I will talk about the "Lost Art of Immersion on Mobile". Something completely different but its a topic by heart.
The only other conference fixed so far is Devcom right before Gamescom. I do not know if I go to GiC or Digital Dragons in Poland yet - we will see. GDC USA isn't a place for me since years, although I have been on the first 10 since it started (yes, 1988 onwards) and triple-A and console aren't much for me these days although I am helping on a AAA f2p title at the moment. There is also the fact that the advisory board of GDC USA keeps ignoring my submissions, which is strange to experience when most other conferences fight about me but GDC isn't. Well, their loss.

So, if I visit other conferences which topic would you love to see? Let me know. I have covered so many that I might have lost track what you want to hear or learn about.