In light of the changing dynamics of game development thanks to COVID-19, game development companies are rethinking things like remote working.
The world as a whole may not be the same after COVID-19, as millions of souls have been lost to the virus and the very way the world interacts with each other has changed. The game is no different. Members of the gaming community have died from COVID-19, gaming conventions have been canceled and titles delayed. As difficult as it has been, new ideas and positivity can also arise. And game developers have started to rethink how hiring and work can be done, as more distant opportunities have presented themselves.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected the development of countless video games. Resident Evil 7 Director Morimasa Sato worried about the survival horror game for months, as the team was literally disbanded for a while. Other teams have been forced to work remotely, game release dates have been pushed back, etc. However, humanity is adapting and the industry may be able to find that remote working can be extremely fruitful in game development.
Although some members of game development stay on the same team for many years, it is often the case that individuals will work on different games with different companies through contracts. Jordan Lemos is a writer who has worked on titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Ghost of Tsushima, but he lived in three cities over a period of five years. Lemos managed to land a remote gig to work on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake with Aspyr Media Inc. recently, and more and more companies are realizing that this option may be necessary.
Lemos recently spoke with Bloomberg about his remote work and believes there is a turning point in game development. He thinks the negatives are negligible for remote working and that the positives far outweigh them. Lemos believes that game studios that refuse to allow talent to work remotely will miss out on highly skilled individuals. The gaming world isn’t the only place industries have adapted. While video games are certainly unique, other industries have looked to remote opportunities and found savings.
Not only does remote working allow for a larger talent pool and a more flexible employee base, but it can also lead to significant savings in office size and the money required to simply have individual work on-site. According to the Bloomberg article, the French game company Dontnod Entertainment offered remote working to all of its employees, and 65% of them accepted the offer. Managing Director Oskar Guilbert says two sets were shipped during the pandemic (Tell me why and Twin mirror), the team therefore thinks they can continue to work remotely in the future.
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