Again, that's just what it looks like. Most of my friends in the industry have been in it long enough to have escaped into the Indie space, which isn't without its own bloodletting, but the dynamics are very different. It's starting to reach down into there, though: I've heard horror stories of a single missed milestone that dissolves an entire contract, or the increasingly Darwinian terms. Bad seems insufficient, but it's also a very broad spectrum. So: things are bad.
There is a genre of YouTuber whose entire purpose is to baste your children in a rich, socialist gravy. And certainly, I'm happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of every coordinate between collectivism and individualism. I've been to enough countries to see very plainly what it looks like when the people who rule you are forced to prioritize your health and well-being, and I covet it, in flagrant abrogation of the tenth commandment. I don't have any religious or intellectual allegiance to the way We do things; I only care about the outcomes, which are currently fucked. Like most incredibly high nineteen year olds staring down the barrel of an American System which would become their slow murderer, I invented Socialism also.
Living through history sucks, and if the idiots at the rudder had slightly more strategy or slightly less contempt for the mortal lives they stripmine, they coulda kept squeezing forever. What I will say as someone who has experience engaging in a dialogue with the young is that there is almost no way to advocate for anything resembling the status quo, in whole or in part. They've never seen it work for regular people. The devil could not advocate for this system with a straight face. There'd be an undeniable smirk in there somewhere. An errant fang would press gently against the lower lip.
I used to know a person named Rami, and he said something like this:
I'm sorry, but no amazing game will make this "a good year for games". This is an awful year for games - the atrocious effects money & shareholders & CEOs had on the industry this year lost us many incredible people, careers, and thus amazing future games for years to come.— Rami Ismail / رامي (@tha_rami) September 29, 2023
I understand what he means, but I can't quite follow him there. Talking about how consolidation warps the industries we touch is something of a hobby. Truly human work came to light this year - beauty, madness. Swan songs, reclamations, apotheoses. I can recognize the monstrous nature of the masters of that space without ceding the vitality of the medium to them. I think this gets worse before it gets better. And when it gets better, it will get better down here first - where the people are.
Even the most potent system carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction.