XCOM 2 Director Says He's Never Seen Such "Horrific Layoffs" In His 25 Years In The Industry

Firaxis veteran Jake Solomon hasn't seen mass layoffs like this in his whole 25-year career.

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CrimsonWing6939d ago

Alot’s changed in 25 years. We have games with $300 mill budgets, people not interested in games other than Fortnite and Minecraft, the older generation of gamers giving up the hobby or dying off, a period of super bad inflation where the industry decided to hike up prices on games, Gamepass harming game sales, GaaS games being pushed left and right with obnoxious monetization and worse looking/playing (Suicide Squad vs Arkham Knight).

The industry is just shite right now. Games ain’t selling, games cost massive amounts, businesses can’t bleed money and this is what happens. Part of it is on them and part of it is on consumers not buying.

Yi-Long39d ago

Consumers ain't buying because of what they're selling; There is no new SSX or Burnout, everything is now Online Required, everything is 'service', etc.

Indies are still delivering the goods, perhaps even better than ever, because those are often the guys and gals who know what they want to make and just make that and hopefully we dig it as well and support it ...

... but when you look at those multi-million budget AAA games, are they improving on what we have had before? Is the new Forza Motorsport better than a Forza Mototsport 4? Is Halo Infinite better than Halo 3? Is Dragon Age 2 such a huge improvement over the first Dragon Age? Etcetc.

Yeah, graphics have gotten better, worlds have gotten better, but I think a gaming generations stands or falls with diversity and experiences, and a few gens ago we had access to whatever we wanted, so if we wanted a boxing game we picked up one of the boxing games, if we wanted snowboarding we'd pick up one of the snowboarding games, if we wanted to do a rythm game we had DJ Hero, or Guitar Hero, or Rockband. If we wanted to sneak around we had Splinter Cell or MGS or whatever.

We had variety and we had options, and that makes or breaks a generation, imo. You're in a foodcourt of games and they're serving all kinds of different cuisines, and so you'd pick and choose whatever you felt like that day.

Right now, you're in a restaurant, and you're only allowed to pick from one menu, and there's a dress-code, and you have to register, and you have to stay in your seat, etc etc.


Matt Booty talks shipping Sea of Thieves on PlayStation 5, Xbox exclusives, and more.

Xbox's Matt Booty discusses reactions to the Xbox showcase, shipping Sea of Thieves on PlayStation, closing studios like Tango Gameworks, and more.

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purple1012d ago

Matt Booty:

How It Started:

"Go spend Sony out of business."

How It Is Going:

"We just have great working relationships with the teams at Sony." (Sony is a great partner)

Jingsing1d 22h ago

Microsoft thought players views and habits didn't matter but there are more people engaged with the gaming industry politics than there ever has been. Microsoft is like a toxic party and people know it and won't support the no matter how much money they throw at it. That is important.

RauLeCreuset1d 21h ago

Watch for the sleight of hand.

Hint: Exclusives and launch exclusives are not the same thing.

"When asked about what this means for future Xbox exclusives, Booty reiterates that the teams are evaluating games hitting other consoles on a 'case-by-case basis,' adding that Xbox players can absolutely continue to expect many games to launch as exclusives, and that the 'Xbox promise' that all Xbox first-party games come to Xbox Game Pass will continue to be true."

Tedakin1d 20h ago

More "case by case" talk.

gold_drake1d 2h ago

back paddeling At.Its.Finest.


Ex-Sony Boss Shawn Layden Explains How to Make Games Faster, Cheaper

Khayl Adam: "Former president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Shawn Layden, began foretelling the current, apocalyptic state of the video game industry in 2020. A piece of conventional wisdom industry onlookers will often cite, Layden himself says it was no remarkable feat, gleaned by observing trend lines over decades. He even offered some suggestions for how developers can cut costs in the future and get their games out quicker."

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DarXyde3d ago

A very fair assessment. I think it's fair to say Nintendo runs away from photorealism at a million miles an hour, and that's really the best approach there. Maybe once in a while if you have a great idea, but you should really have a massive financial buffer to offset potential losses from an unsuccessful project.

Procedural generation is a great idea, but I fail to see how it differs very much from AI—sure, AI requires there to be some precedent to pull from, but I think both have the "green cow" restriction, where something novel is constructed from something that exists (in this case, recognizing a cow and the color green).

To that end, with the talk of more time and less money vs less time and more money, it sounds like Layden believes fewer games being made but with procedural generation will occupy gamers longer...? The challenge there is those games don't really have an end. But he does have data on his side that most people don't actually finish their games. I do, and this lack of closure on an undertaking would drive me a bit mad. But that's just me.

His approach is certainly more sustainable and he's got a great point. Remember how hard games were back on SNES and Sega Genesis? How many of us saw the end of all of those games without cheats or emulation? Many of those games may as well have been procedurally generated because you're hoping to beat it, but in reality it's just about how far you got that day (most games didn't save, in case you're reading this and a bit younger).

I personally prefer to see an end, but I can't really dispute his point either.

Michiel19893d ago

you actually got it twisted, with AI you shouldn't have to have a set of presets or precedent to pull from, it should be able to come up with that itself, with procedural generation you need to have a "ruleset" in which you need to design a level/map. Think of something like how tilesets from hades/diablo work, there is some freedom but if you play a decent amount of time, you will see the same layouts over and over, with AI that shouldn't be the case. If you wanna see some pretty advanced AI in gaming, check out open AI, they did some really impressive stuff with Dota 2 and with at least 1 other game which I can't remember.

DarXyde3d ago


I'm a bit skeptical of the idea that AI would be able to construct something entirely novel. Let's use the example of Google AI creating its own language between two AIs:

An AI would define language in a way that we define language: that is, it is possible to crack the code of this "novel language" because it must follow pre-existing rules for language. Grammar, syntax, etc. AI is essentially restricted to the information it is fed or pulls from, is it not? We often hear how AI models must be trained on something, so like people, it draws inspiration from existing ideas to create something new. If this is not the case, how could two AIs understand the language that is created? There has to be a set of existing rules to allow communication.

I don't mean to say you're wrong, I just don't think there is much distinction between it and procedural generation in game design.

You mention Dota 2 is doing something in this regard. I'll have to take a look at that and see what you mean.

Michiel19892d ago

in the case of ai vs procedural you can basically compare it to:
Procedural being tilesets that can be placed vs AI giving them a full blown level editor.

AI doesn't need to communicate with itself because you can kind of merge them together from what I understand. With openai they gave them only 2 objectives, killing the enemy base is good and dying is bad. From there on they kept the ai playing games against eachother at 10times normal speed or even faster, don't remember exactly how fast and then they managed to merge it somehow. The AI beat the best teams in the world, although after a while it got cheesed because the AI had very little playtime against people compared to playing vs ai, but just the fact that they managed to do that with AI, I'm sure it can handle a level editor and placing some objectives in them.

I'm not sure what you exactly mean with communicating, that a game will have several AI's in one game? because that's not how they do it now, it's one AI running everything, it only needs to communicate with itself. They idea behind is that the game devs will create/train the ai, not put in a blank slate ai and that hopefully after tons of hours for each individual player it will finally be half decent.

I don't mean that the ai will create everything, lore, assets and gameplay, if that's what you're thinking.

Can definitely recommend checking out the dota 2 openai stuff, although it might be hard to understand how good the AI actually is if you didn't play the game. (it also did plenty of terrible stuff, or at least things that people would never do)

derek3d ago

@Darx do you want more Nintendo type games? I don't. Use to be a big fan of Nintendo but they do not change they've been making largely the same games for over 30 years, like they're stuck on repeat. They're fun especially for kids but Nintendo will never make a game like gt7vr.

gold_drake3d ago

its also the fact that nintendo sets a budget for even their mainline games.

darthv723d ago

When i was younger, games were short and to the point because they were meant to keep taking your $ at the arcades. Then came home games, and people wanted more for their $$ so the games got longer. Now that im older, i prefer shorter games. i have a shit ton of games i have started but never finished due to limited time and patience. This includes a laundry list of big AAA titles and RPG's.

i just can't do it anymore, which is why i play more arcade style games. I always buy the new big game in the hopes i can get into it... but always return to the shorter and easier to pick up and play ones.

gold_drake3d ago

im with ya.

im definitely cautious to what i buy these days.

anast2d ago

I'm the opposite. I used to prefer arcade fighters and etc, but as I get older I enjoy 80hr to 100hr experiences over the course of a few years. My focus has actually gotten stronger as my time has gotten more limited and there aren't that many actual good games to be in a hurry. We have been experiences quantity over quality.

anast2d ago


My typos aren't a good sign of focus here.

TiredGamer2d ago

Totally there. With the exception of a few games, I generally feel that games today are full of filler and the experience, even if it is a good one, gets stale after the 10 hour mark and I subconsciously reduce the effort to return to it and finish.

The original God of War is a title that I have never completed. I have gotten about 80% of the way through 3 separate times (original PS2, PS3 Remaster, and Ps Vita version), but I run out of steam at about the same mark and will just fail to return to it. And this kind of thing exemplifies my feeling with a lot of modern games. I just don’t have the desire to continue for hour upon hours once the concept wears thin.

The one modern example I will make an exception to are the FromSoft Souls titles. Those have that wonderful risk/reward old-school play style that keeps my interest for a good deal of time, and I have finished all of the mainline titles.

anast3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

This guy wants people to lower their expectations...I bet the prices will still keep going up though...A company like Sony should have almost impossible expectations, they're good for it, around $97b good with gaming being almost $6b good.

gold_drake3d ago

oh im fully expecting them to go up next gen. either right at the beginning or in the middle.

TiredGamer2d ago

Rational discussion is critical in this stage of game development. We are reaching a point now where you need hundreds of artists to make super detailed graphics in a game that most people don’t notice. I can appreciate photorealism, but the “wow” factor is gone for me and it’s not worth the extra time and money to chase diminishing returns.

Shawn is just talking sense. I’m a lifelong gamer and I only finish a fraction of the games that I start because they are too long for me. And I find myself more interested in retro gaming since the game concepts tend to be more pure and grounded. After PS3/XBox360, I have rarely been “wowed” by game graphics as they have achieved a general level of being good enough.

anast1d 18h ago

I'm good. They can lower the prices and lower the pay and concentrate on making easier games to manage.

gold_drake3d ago

i also think games are so expensive cause of the seasoned directors in most cases. and you know, if you have 100 ppl working on a case, it stacks up fairly quickly.

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