A Grim Year for Video Games

Luke Plunkett writes for Aftermath:

This has not been a good year for video games. It might look like it on the surface–some great games have been released, and industry mouthpieces will try to tell you everything is wonderful while pointing to commercials and cinematic trailers–but the truth is that 2023 has been defined by one thing: massive, industry-wide layoffs, at a scale I don’t remember seeing even at the height of the global recessions in 2008.

Layoffs Are The Vibe, Luke Plunkett

As we approach the end of the year I like many others are looking back on the year in video games for our end of year lists and other such reflections. This year more than previous years, I find it a more somber celebration rather than a jubilant one. Celebration of once in a decade video games like Baldur’s Gate 3 are tinged with a sadness as the maws of capitalism chews on more people working in the video games industry and spits out the bones in the form of layoffs.

The Game Awards are happening this week and I can’t find it in myself to watch it even if to dunk on it with friends on a voice call. The show felt like capitalist theater at the best of times and in a year like this such a show feels even more grotesque. Its advertisements and awards a thin and failing bandage over a industry bleeding from a thousand cuts.