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Scott Jennings returns with his column this week to talk about the year that was, in 2009, and the trail of destruction that it left in its wake... at least where MMO development is concerned.
Queen Elizabeth once memorably referred to a particular drama-filled year in her life as an “annus horribilis”, which shows that any phrase, even “horrible year”, sounds grave and fraught with meaning if you say it in Latin. And as far as game development in 2009 - well, it may well be time to bring out the dead languages, because last year was decisively an unpleasant year to be an MMO developer.
The Great Recession: When “Developers, Developers, Developers” turned into “Layoffs, Layoffs, Layoffs”
The hardest challenge facing MMO developers in 2009 was, umm, remaining an MMO developer. As the global economy imploded at the end of last year, the gaming industry showed that, contrary to the opinion of some clueless analysts, gaming is very much not immune to a recession. Just ask the folks at SOE. Or Turbine. Or Funcom. Or Mythic (twice). Or NCsoft. Or.. uh... me. Or... anyone at EA, as the gaming behemoth shed 1,500 workers (including the Mythic layoffs listed above).
Read 2009: That Horrible Year.