GOG.com felt the need to apologize publicly about an “insensitive” tweet it recently made. A forgivable drop of blood in the water, but not without pointing to an even bigger mess. How is it that industries requiring less and less of a human presence are so afraid of their own people? Disney is afraid to fire Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy after a string of failures, because of a possible walk-out by her sycophant squad. California tech walks on eggshells for fear of upsetting the SJW Cartel, ready to terrorize their investors within seconds of a non-inclusive tweet. For all their vast resources and wealth, these companies could axe entire swaths of their dead weight personnel and keep things down to the essentials, yet they insist on being abused by a minority of bitter, discontented rabble-rousers who want corporations to pay for their own mistakes. Why is this? Is it a tone-deaf attempt at millennial PR? Towing the line for Blue-State grants? A genuine desire to move the Women’s Studies and General Arts majors into a higher bracket? Or is it just bad management?
The bitter reality is, none of the “diversity hires” or increased visibility of women are actually making these companies work more effectively. Some firms even go out of their way to avoid hiring women, due to sexual assault and misconduct suits threatening to bankrupt them at any moment. #MeToo has done more to set back the very progress it sought to achieve—CEOs would rather hire an all-male staff than face a low-rent Gloria Allred, or passive-aggressive backbiting over the thermostat being set too low. But this is all a sideshow to the main event: few data-centric companies today, outside of maybe game development (more on that later), require an in-house team of more than 10 people, maybe 13 tops. Backend monitoring can be done remotely. Frontend edits can be made with custom software. Any job demanding specialized knowledge can be farmed out to a pool of thousands of IT consultants, web developers, accountants, copywriters, electricians, plumbers (offices need bathrooms), security, graphic designers, server technicians, network administrators, and programmers making custom CSS interfaces. Retaining a lawyer would be a better use of money than hiring an English major to write tweets, and any company going the latter route is either taking grants to stay afloat, or dead in the water by next fiscal year. Founder(s), PR, Janitor, Receptionist, and a design/frontend crew of maybe 6. 1-2 people for backend; get some bids going, make the tech services compete for contracts. Whatever’s cheapest. Even finance can be handled this way, and often is. This is how today’s smartest and best tech companies operate, weighing out the usefulness of an employee position against cost. If something could be better done without paying $4500-$6000 per month to one person, it should be done that way.
Given this, there is no reason at all to believe the SJW/Feminist/Antifa/LGBT+ bloc can’t be purged from the system. These people are literally barnacles on the hull, slowing the ship down, putting the crew’s well-being in danger. In the majority of cases, they turn basic human interaction into an emotional minefield, waste time with “sensitivity seminars” to educate co-workers on their “triggers”, derail meetings with pointless contributions (when they actually do say something), inject drama into every possible situation, and have terrible hygiene. It’s as if 40% of your co-workers were Chris-chan. The solution is simple: fire the bastards. If 75% of all GOG or Steam employees were fired tomorrow, I guarantee you wouldn’t notice the difference. These are server houses, their foundation already laid years ago. The amount of in-house oversight they need is minimal, so why not keep payroll to the same level? Imagine if this logic was applied to firms with an even further reach, like Google. Imagine if the SJW agenda promotion ended, because there was no one left to promote it, save for a skeleton crew working to keep the lights on. Contractors and sub-contractors are hired to sign on, do a Google job, get paid and log out. No more headaches. No more Googleplex.
What other industries could this logic be applied to? Are large, in-house teams really needed for the gaming industry? A group of designers and artists lay out the level floor plans, enemy locations, concept art and other details, then farm out the work to coders and level builders, animators and testers, all connected and sharing their work together. To what extent is this being done? To the extent Square-Enix is willing to make Deus Ex 5? To the extent Black Mesa ended up a success, and is the model for work of this type? To the extent EA no longer mandates crunch time, because they can hire outside agents to share the load? The era of in-house production is swiftly coming to an end, yet AAA publishers keep mandating giant project teams, with every member carrying a heavy price tag. How much staff is on the Kojima Productions payroll? How much compared to Konami? Substantially less, right? What Konami games are you looking forward to next year? What Kojima game? Death Stranding, right? Take your time with the Konami question.
Companies either find the cheapest way to do something, or they get crushed by another company that does. It’s Neoliberal and ugly, but it’s the truth. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be Neoliberal and ugly. The outsourced work doesn’t have to go overseas. Domestic governments can provide tax incentives for local firms—using what we might call “offsourcing”, or outsourcing within a domestic boundary—which provide the specialized knowledge needed by their clients, the developers who now consist of highly mobile skeleton crews. We have entire animated films produced today without directors stepping foot into a studio, so why should games be any different? Hire Bob’s Coding and Theresa’s 3D Modeling after a bidding session, collaborate over Telegram, put something together. A “specialty tech” (SpecTech?) industry of for-hire development staff, in the same way insurance companies hire IT firms instead of housing one of their own, on an entire 4th floor. It’s not killing jobs, it’s freeing companies from corporate bloat, and increasing the job market.
I wish I felt like I wasn’t proposing anything new. I’m well aware many companies use the above model, and I’m also aware there are many who don’t. The more companies make hiring choices based on optics, and less on need, the more companies will crash and burn, and the smaller the job market and taxable entity pools will become. This affects everyone for the worse, and it falls to companies to make harder choices. We can’t allow bitter, nasty people to railroad the system. If this means decentralizing, and going to a guild-type of network with dedicated SpecTech firms, so be it. Let’s get to work.