Career advice from Cliffy B

Unreal Tournament designer lays into the computer games industry

Source - Action Vault (thanks Martin Edelius)

For many people a job in the computer games industry is a dream, with attendant visions of sitting around all day making cool stuff, playing deathmatch and drag-racing Ferrari sports cars at your local air strip. But the reality for the vast majority of developers is rather different according to Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games. "I thought it was all roses and a pretty nifty place to be", he told Action Vault. "Luckily, I work at Epic Games, which is a dream. However, I have a lot of friends in the biz. And I've learned a lot."

"I've learned that 90% of the companies in this business lose money. Of the 10% that make money, most of that money goes to people who did zero work on the title. 90% of developers never see any money beyond their initial advance, even if their game recoups. The publisher has them by the balls and knows that any money they give the developers would only pay the developer's lawyers to either sue or audit the publisher. So the publisher gives the developer the run-around so that they can get them on another project and back on the advance / milestone cycle while they keep the money that the developer deserves. 90% of the crucial decisions in this business are made by idiots who don't even play games."

"I've learned that the majority of talented people in this industry are under-appreciated, underpaid, and screwed over on a regular basis. I'm in the process of recruiting some new talent and you know what I'm seeing? Talented guys who would rather starve a bit between freelance jobs because they've had nightmare experiences of working for corporations that treated them like dirt. This industry is steeped in self-ignorance and great developers are getting screwed out of hard earned money every day because of it."

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