Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Non-Represented Corner of Animation

The game biz didn't have its greatest year.

Sales of video game discs and consoles plummeted 22% last year, as consumers flocked to new digital devices and cut their spending, while publishers released fewer games.

The drop was much sharper than 2011's 9% decline from 2010.

Total spending in the U.S. on physical game products was $13.26 billion, according to NPD Group. The research firm did not estimate the annual total including other avenues for game spending, but did say that used games, rentals and digital formats accounted for about half of total spending in December. ...

TAG has, off and on, made runs at the video game industry.

Several years ago, employees and TAG got together when a unit of animators and tech directors from the west coast studio of Electronic Arts called us up and asked for a meeting, then asked for another meeting. (For some reason they weren't enchanted with working seven days a week, as they were then doing.)

Sadly, the face time never grew into a full-blown organizing drive.

The game industry is like other areas of the animation biz. Managers want product "better, faster, cheaper" as time rolls on. This usually means getting 22-year-olds straight out of college, working them hard and then moving on to the next group of 22-year-olds. And the older, discarded crop of game employees? It often migrates to the organized part of the business: feature and television animation.

It's been this way, more or less, since the now-distant '90s. During that time, the video game industry has grown, then retrenched, then rocketed to big business status. EA, one of the major players, has a rep for eating smaller companies and dominating the market, along with a history of abusing employees. But the game industry is like every other part of entertainment: its reliance on the little silver disks has faltered in recent times as online games (both fee and free) have taken a larger bite of the pie.

Technology can be a bitch when it's working against you instead of for you. Just about every major media/entertainment company has found this out, often to their sorrow. So have the artists and techies working in corporate cubicles.


Site Meter