“They Don’t Let Studios Grow”: Layoffs Risk Snuffing Out Gaming’s Next Hidetaka Miyazaki – Is Innovation Dead Before It Starts as Layoffs Continue

Former Rocksteady and Naughty Dog Developer Criticizes the studio closures going on right now

demon's souls, borderlands, fallout

SUMMARY

  • Studios don't seem interested in risk taking anymore as more studios close.
  • These 3 game franchises prove that the studios should reconsider, as records prove it doesn't have a strong start.
  • An ex Naughty Dog dev weighed in on the recent studio closures.
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The games industry is on the precipice; so much is currently at stake, and the big corporations seem intent on barreling towards the edge without a thought about the potential fallout.

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With so much news of studio closures and big buyouts that result in more studio closures, it feels like unique games are not being given the chance they deserve anymore, in favor of the big proven IPs getting the spotlight.

The Games Industry Feels Like It’s In Dire Straits

Hi-Fi Rush was a major critical success and even recently came to PS5, yet developer tango gameworks closed
Hi-Fi Rush was a critical success and even came to PS5, yet Tango Gameworks was closed

The past year has been a difficult one for our beloved games industry. Many studios have been forced to close after lower-than-expected sales. Most recently up to the chopping block was Alone in the Dark developer Pieces Interactive, which was closed by Embracer Group.

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Other notable and surprising closures include Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin, both recently acquired by Microsoft.

Former Rocksteady and Naughty Dog developer Del Walker shared his dismay on Twitter/X, pointing to several game franchises that initially started out with low sales but blossomed into some of the most beloved franchises in gaming. Games such as Fallout, Demon’s Souls, Borderlands, Red Dead Revolver, and more.

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“I can’t even begin to imagine what the Hi-Fi Rush team would have done on their sophomore album.” Said Del in his impassioned post. Without the important first steps taken by these great developers years ago, the gaming landscape would be so very different now.

Fallout, Demon Souls, and Borderlands are Pillars of Gaming

Fallout 76 hit massive player counts recently, the franchise is still going strong. hidetaka miyazaki
Fallout 76 hit massive player counts recently, the franchise is still going strong.

Imagine if after Demon’s Souls under-performed, Sony had decided to close FromSoftware. No Dark Souls, no Elden Ring, no Souls genre at all. That’s not just the loss of From Software franchises either, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order was praised for bringing the format to a galaxy far far away. It wouldn’t exist without Demon’s Souls.

Another great franchise, Fallout, is one of the hottest brands right now, with the popularity of Amazon’s adaptation leading to a rise in player numbers for Fallout 76, which also initially had a poor reception. But it did not start with the show. Fallout has been going strong for two decades, yet initially, it did not meet expectations despite critical acclaim. In today’s climate, ID Tech would be closed and the IP would be shelved as a failed novelty.

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Borderlands has spawned countless sequels and spin-offs and is even being turned into a major motion picture starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black. If not for the studio taking a risk and continuing with that franchise after the first installment, it would not be the powerhouse that it is today.

These games prove that sometimes it’s worth taking a risk, something that seems all but forgotten today. It seems that ingenuity is truly dead and that what matters most to studios is whatever makes the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Dels comments speak to a big issue the industry is facing: that artistry no longer seems to matter to the big studios and that it’s just easier to buy up great developers, make us as much money from them as possible, and then close them, citing failed sales expectations.

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Written by Dustin.C

Articles Published: 31

Dustin is an avid gamer, comic book reader and movie lover. His interests include, Star Wars, DC and Marvel comics.