SAFE FOR NOW

In my previous post, I mentioned how there was supposed to be a big meeting today where my and all my co-workers immediate employment futures were to be discussed. As expected, before the meeting I detected a slight bit of nervousness from everyone in the studio. At least among the worker bees, no one knew what to expect.

As I also mentioned, in attendance was a high-level executive from corporate headquarters. Because of the all-seeing eye of Google, I won’t state the name of the executive but he’s essentially one level down from the CEO position. He addressed the entire studio at the beginning of the meeting. The first thing he got out of the way was to say to he was not here to close down Black Box. He seemed to think such a thing would be ridiculous to do but I believe there was some honest and actual relief when we heard that.

He also then reiterated the company’s commitment to Black Box as a studio. He wanted to make it clear that the company saw talent and value at Black Box and they’d be behind us, at least in the near future. There were a few organizational changes that he discussed as well but this isn’t the forum to reveal what those were. Then came the Q & A portion of the meeting.

I’m glad it didn’t take long but one guy essentially got right to the point of asking, “How many of us are going to be part of the 1500 reduction in staff?” The answer was, at least for Black Box, the reductions were already done. So anyone who was in that meeting today would not be part of the 1500. This was a much bigger relief for me as it meant my team was free to finish the game we’re currently working on.

There were of course more questions but nothing of note that I want write here. So I really have nothing to worry about, at least for the next five months or so. I understand they can’t promise me eternal job security, nor do I expect it. Even in the best of times, when a team finishes a game, there are always adjustments to team sizes. Given the current tumultuous nature of the games industry, things could have gone a lot worse for me and my team today. We’re going to finish this game and it appears that we have the support of our corporate leadership.

I’m back to focusing on making the best game I can before we get this thing out the door for May 2010.

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