It seems like smart just-in-time staffing: You hire for big projects and then let people go when they wrap up. But here’s why it hurts more than it helps.
For the most part, there aren’t many parallels between the cutting-edge software and the gaming industry and old-school automotive manufacturing. But they do share one practice: planned layoffs.
As Andrew Groen at Wired reports, Lionhead Studios, an arm of Microsoft, just laid off 10 percent of its staff. The reason is that the software giant released the newest Kinect version of Fable, one of its most popular Xbox 360 console games. This isn’t an unusual practice, according the article:
“It’s just business as usual in the game industry. Developers staff up to make a huge game, then shed members once it ships because they no longer have anything for them to do. It happens again and again, whether the game is successful or not: Take-Two had a huge hit with Red Dead Redemption in 2010, then immediately canned 40 workers from its Rockstar San Diego studio, calling the layoffs ‘typical.'”
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