In the wake of Bioware's announcement, should video game studios continue remote labour post-Covid?

Collaborations between programmers and artists were commonplace in the game industry before the pandemic. This is true for many creative and entertainment industries. On many days, it was difficult to get anything done because of the workload. Despite the many protests, nothing changed. Video games have finally started to acknowledge that a culture that has […]

Kefan Chen
14th February 2022
Image: PXHere & Bioware
Collaborations between programmers and artists were commonplace in the game industry before the pandemic. This is true for many creative and entertainment industries. On many days, it was difficult to get anything done because of the workload. Despite the many protests, nothing changed. Video games have finally started to acknowledge that a culture that has long been revered may really benefit from a little modernization. 

Some people believe that working from home has improved work-life balance and morale among workers, resulting in more adaptable working circumstances in the gaming business.

The pandemic caused enormous delays in the supply of video games as video game producers had to adjust to faulty technology and slow VPNs at home. Creatives and programmers were able to transport massive files more quickly because of this new technology and infrastructure. There have been various claims by video game developers that they are continuing to work at the same speed as before, even though their offices have been shut down since March 2020. Having a well-supported production pipeline allows remote employees to be more productive. 

Due to the recent success and the release of multiple high-profile games this year, employees who are used to working from home are now urging their employers to rethink their traditional views toward them. Some people believe that working from home has improved work-life balance and morale among workers, resulting in more adaptable working circumstances in the gaming business. In the foreseeable future, more than half of all game developers anticipate their businesses to continue offering some form of remote working possibility, according to a recent survey by International Game Developers Federation.

Employing staff from any place, with no expectation that they would ever return to work in an office environment, was formerly thought unachievable by big gaming organisations. 

Unlike other sectors, the video game industry lacks a significant hub like Hollywood or Silicon Valley. Many game developers, like Lemos, have been forced to relocate to another nation in order to escape getting fired or having their contracts with one company expire. An average of 2.2 employers have been employed by gaming workers in the previous five years, according to a survey conducted in 2019.

"You can only execute so many moves until you reach your limit," Lemos said. "It's difficult to keep senior-level personnel in our field because of factors like stress and weariness." More reasons for people to escape aren't what we're looking for at all. 

Many video game companies are still ironing out the kinks in their remote work practises after the outbreak. Companies like Ubisoft Entertainment SA in France have implemented hybrid schedules in which most employees are obliged to work in the office for at least part of the time but are allowed to work from home two or three days a week. Employing staff from any place, with no expectation that they would ever return to work in an office environment, was formerly thought unachievable by big gaming organisations. 

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