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No, no, no: Contractors are NOT your salvation

Anyone saying “redundancies are inevitable for games industry companies” should never be allowed to run a studio. Ditto for the raving loons who think everyone should be hired as contractors instead.

I was pointed at this by Nicholas Lovell’s wholehearted supporting tweet, reminding me that Nicholas is a finance guy, not a game developer:

“If you’re a work-for-hire/self-funded studio working for little profit who employs 100% of your staff on a permanent basis then expect redundancies at the end of every project and or the business completely failing.”

No. If you’re in that situation *you don’t deserve to be in business*. Contractors are no solution here at all: your “solution” is to *raise income*. Making games is not a box-shifting industry, it’s a creative industry. The ONLY way this works is to charge high prices, because you can never directly control creative-cost.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with “Cyclical business” and “Core teams” and “Contractor flexibility” – those are the terms of idiots who think it’s reasonable to run a business as if it were a hobby, always on the brink of bankruptcy. You’ll go the way of Woolworths et al – and you damn well deserve it.

A healthy, profitable, creative business not only ALWAYS runs at less than 100% staff efficiency, it positively THRIVES on it. The open secret of successful creative industries is that you pay someone’s salary just to get them in the door and to keep them content … so you can reap the rewards by being the one to exploit the new IP that – randomly, spontaneously – flows out of them.

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