Game Over for Timonium, Hunt Valley Video Game Studios?

Studios will continue to change their name, sweep the debt under the rug, slap a new logo on the wall, and keep on going with the same agenda, the same failing mission statement.

I find myself disliking the game industry with every new studio entering what I call the game developer graveyard.

Recently, Baltimore has been hit hard with closings of Big Huge Games, Zynga East, and Impossible Studios.

Read more:

  • Timonium-Based Big Huge Games Shuttered
  • Zynga Fails To Impress After Opening with $1 Billion IPO

Then, there was also Wargaming's acquisition of Day 1 Studios during the end of January that flew under the radar.

To be honest, most people in the game development community saw the Zynga closing way before top executives started leaving. Everyone who I talked to used the term "abandoning a sinking ship" to describe what was going to happen once the stock failed to perform.

There was also the changing market of the Facebook games. TechCrunch's Josh Constine wrote a great article back in October called "Why Zynga Failed" which was very accurate.

But, this post is not about Zynga. This post is about how horrible I feel for all my friends, networking buddies, fellow industry peons who got left behind. The ladies and gentlemen who work 60, 70, 80+ hours a week for less than market pay of what they are really worth. When speaking at local colleges, conventions, and social networking events there are three questions I force those wanting to get into the industry to ask themselves.

"Am I all right with no job security? Am I all right with being underpaid to work more hours? Am I all right with having to relocate?"

If you answered yes to all three of those questions than you will have to deal with your decision. We all got seduced by the "glory" industry we love, and that is our own fault. The companies hold all the power.

We accept these conditions blindly because we get to make games, but in the end, we are making other people's games. Even worse, most of us agree to not work on our own games while working for a company.

Yes, think about it, we agree to not do what we went to school for, trained for, dreamed of doing because ... why? One of my best teachers once said in my capstone course (Final project course for seniors in college) that

"This will be your last chance to create a game you want."

Continue reading the full article here 

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About Gabriel Pendleton: 

My name is Gabriel Pendleton, a tech enthusiast, game developer, entrepreneur, programmer and active community builder living in Cockeysville, MD. I like helping people succeed, giving advice, trying new technology and new ventures.

Read more of my posts on BaltimoreGamer.com or follow me on twitter @GabeTHEGeek. I am also the IGDA Baltimore Communications Manager, Podcaster, Professionally Unprofessional! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

M. Sullivan February 26, 2013 at 07:15 PM
You sound a bit bitter. Maybe its time to apply your talents to something that's actually useful such as medical applications. You may be surprised at the satisfaction you'll feel.
Chuck Melton February 26, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Who trolls articles about recent declines in an important local industry? The gaming industry in Hunt Valley has served to create literally hundreds of jobs and given truly valuable experience to thousands of people. While I no longer work in the industry, I credit my old job at Absolute Quality in Hunt Valley with launching what has been to date a wonderful career for me.
GabeTHEGeek February 27, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Trolls will be trolls. But to entertain you a bit. Something that's actually useful? You mean like working on a game for hospitals to help kids with autistic learning disabilities? Oh, I already did that. Also, did you know John Hopkins uses games to help kids in the rehabilitation unit? There is more than just games for entertainment. It does wonders for what a quick google can do! Your right, I am a bit bitter, not for me because I have my own startup. I am bitter for my friends.


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