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A Precarious GameThe Illusion of Dream Jobs in the Video Game Industry$
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Ergin Bulut

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501746529

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501746529.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 25 September 2021

Production Error

Production Error

Layoffs Hit the Core Creatives

Chapter:
(p.141) 7 Production Error
Source:
A Precarious Game
Author(s):

Ergin Bulut

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501746529.003.0008

This chapter reveals how even upper-rank workers are not exempt from layoffs, financial insecurity, and the anxiety of working in a hit-driven industry. While being bought out by Digital Creatives initially provided financial security for Studio Desire's game developers, Digital Creatives' hasty, adverse investment decisions destabilized their flagship studio. When Digital Creatives eventually declared bankruptcy, Studio Desire's developers found themselves working in a perpetual-growth machine without much morale. The chapter then addresses workers' indifference toward unionization. Game developers' perception of creative work—that one needs to think outside the box, that creative work is decidedly different from blue-collar work, and that therefore unions would not be helpful—is socially structured. Yet they seem to be indifferent to facing and managing risk in more collective ways.

Keywords:   upper-rank workers, layoffs, financial insecurity, Digital Creatives, Studio Desire, game developers, unionization, creative work, unions

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