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Tim Schafer speaks out against routine layoffs

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The harm of routine layoffs

Routine studio layoffs result in a loss of game development wisdom according to the head of Double Fine Productions, Tim Schafer.

Speaking in an interview with Wired, Schafer spoke out against the industry trend of routinely laying off staff after the conclusion of a project.

"One of the most frustrating things about the games industry is that teams of people come together to make a game, and maybe they struggle and make mistakes along the way, but by the end of the game they've learned a lot – and this is usually when they are disbanded," he said.

"Instead of being allowed to apply all those lessons to a better, more efficiently produced second game, they are scattered to the winds and all that wisdom is lost."

Schafer laments that half the team that worked on Psychonauts had to be laid off after the game's completion, which he says was problematic because it broke up a team that had just learned how to work well together and sent the message that the studio wasn't loyal to them and it didn't care.

"Which would make them wonder," Schafer continued, "'Why should we be loyal to this company?' If you're not loyal to your team you can get by for a while, but eventually you will need to rely on their loyalty to you and it just won't be there."