Geoff Keighley: Big Companies Have To Treat Their Developers Right

Geoff Keighley: Big Companies Have To Treat Their Developers Right

The host of E3 replacement Summer Game Fest, Geoff Keighley, kicked off the showcase’s fourth year by doing what many have called on the veteran industry insider to do for months: use his biggest platform to acknowledge the current state of mass layoffs, cuts, and cancellations at some of gaming’s biggest publishers and studios.

“I know if you watch this show you don’t just play games, you deeply care about this art form and the health of this industry,” Keighley, who also helms The Game Awards every year, said on the stage of the YouTube theater on June 7 as the showcase got underway. “The good news is we have a lot of amazing games to show you from creators around the world over the next two hours. But let’s face it, this has been a difficult and tumultuous year with company layoffs and studio closures that have disappointed all of us.”

The remark built on sparring tweets the face of video game hype made on the subject back in March. 2024 has already seen over 10,000 layoffs in the video game industry in the first six months, the same as the total for all of last year. Almost every other week, a new indie or well-known studio has cut staff or shutdown completely. That’s included hundreds of layoffs across Activision Blizzard and Bethesda, including the shocking shuttering of Arkane Austin and Hi-Fi Rush maker Tango Gameworks. Sony also shutdown London Studio and cut hundreds of developers. A billboard in Los Angeles for Summer Game Fest is currently memorializing some of the game teams that are no more.

Keighley, who has long attempted to steer clear of taking a stance on controversial topics, didn’t castigate any of the executive teams behind these decisions. Instead, he tried to strike a more positive note, putting up a list of 2024 breakout hits like Palworld and Balatro that found success and big audiences outside the standard AAA publishing models.

“I get inspired that new ideas, new teams, and smaller creators can and will break through. It’s a reminder to big companies they have to treat their developers right, because today there are money paths to sustainability and success and that’s what makes this industry so, so great,” Keighley said.

The host then immediately pivoted back to hawking his upcoming world premiers for the showcase, which he stressed would be coming from big teams and solo developers alike, even as there’s been some criticism about the hundreds of thousands it costs many studios to get their game trailers aired during the event. He said some solo creators were invited to show their games in the event “because we think this platform is important as a way to show you new things that you might not even know about.”

The first world premiere that then proceeded to start the event proper was for Lego Horizon Adventures, co-developed by Guerrilla Games, one of the Sony studios that suffered several layoffs earlier this year.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


3 responses to “Geoff Keighley: Big Companies Have To Treat Their Developers Right”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *