Monday, January 26, 2009

they won’t stop coming

no funny alt text hereIndustry-wide sackings continue – Chris Early, general manager of Games for Windows Live, was reportedly let go today. This is the most recent information we have on a much wider rash of cuts made at Microsoft in the past week.

At a personal level, all of the news of game-related layoffs is awful to hear. We’re supposed to be a recession-proof industry, aren’t we? First and foremost, my thoughts go out to all of the very real people affected by the deepening global recession – they are not just names in blog posts. I’m thankful that my job seems secure, and I suggest that the employed among you follow suit.

At a more relevant-to-the-wider-gaming-community level, this news is a harbinger of change for the Games for Windows Live service, which I recently critiqued in a post about the state of PC gaming. Though Live is well-liked and accepted (and mandatory) on its platform of origin, it has never gained the same level of acceptance on the PC, especially in the face of the much more successful Steam platform. My bet is that this is the beginning of the end for the service, though it is also conceivable that Microsoft wants to bring in new management in an effort to breathe new life into it. If there’s one thing at which Microsoft excels, it’s persistence – they’ll just keep trying, damn it, until they get it right.