We spoke to Tantalus and Straight Right CEO Tom Crago a while back about work on Mass Effect 3, and how he's tried to steer his company in the correct direction in the midst of what was essentially the collapse of the work-for-hire model in Australia. In an interesting interview with Gamasutra, Crago went into more depth on the struggles he, personally, had to go through during that difficult time.
"In the space of a year, a while back, we went from being very profitable to losing a ton of money," he told Gamasutra. "This was a huge affront for me, as every one of my 12 years in this industry I had managed to turn a profit, and I had never had to let one of my developers go because I couldn't afford to pay them."
But, of course, Tantalus did undergo a small amount of redundancies, and Crago discussed the huge responsibility he felt to those he had to let go. He felt that was time to become far more transparent about his business, and integrated that idea into a new profit share programme that financially rewards staff, but also gives workers an insight into how well the company is doing as a whole.
"I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could do things better, from a studio perspective, and I made a lot of changes," he said. "Fundamentally, and I realize this is a little controversial, I came to the conclusion that in an industry as volatile as video games, it's impossible to put your hand on your heart and say to any of your developers that their job is going to be secure for the next five or 10 years."
It's definitely worthwhile heading to Gamasutra to read the whole interview.
Mass Effect 3 Wii U developer faced a tough reality [Gamasutra]