Game studios have already shed 8,700 jobs this year, association issues warning

Since the start of the year, 8,700 game developers have been affected by layoffs, and the situation is threatening industry stability, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) warns while calling for action.

IGDA, the largest nonprofit representing individuals who create games, released a statement that game studio leadership must prioritize efforts to prevent further layoffs.

“The gravity of this situation and its impact on the industry cannot be overstated,” IGDA said. “Studio leaders in the game industry must implement sustainable measures within their organizations to avoid unnecessary layoffs.”

After massive layoffs, developers in the industry are concerned about the stability of their careers and the industry as a whole.

IGDA believes that studios must better plan for sustainable growth and stop driving talent away from their own companies and the industry as a whole if they want to foster a resilient and thriving sector.

“Talented individuals, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, may seek opportunities beyond the games industry due to the instability, leading to skill gaps and underrepresentation of various demographics,” IGDA said.

The association also shared a list of recommendations on what “studios must” do. The industry seems to lack an “understanding that periods of accelerated growth are usually followed by periods of stagnation or even decline.” Therefore, maintaining short and long-term forecasts could help.

“Keep headcount reductions to a minimum. Drastically, reducing headcount only helps short-term finances and is costly both in terms of team morale and in training and onboarding when those teams need to be regrown later,” IGDA states in one of the advice.

Spreading risk over several projects in different stages of development can provide a better chance of success, reducing the risk and headcount fluctuations.

“Maintain transparent communication with your team and address concerns related to well-being and job security when raised,” IGDA said. “Support diversity initiatives and internal roles to help retain the increased diverse talent the games industry has developed over the last decade.”

Non-profits also ask studios to provide ample support to departing employees to ensure their well-being and future success.

The gaming industry is one of the hardest hit by layoffs this year. According to data tracker, 249 tech companies laid off 60 thousand employees in total in 2024.

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