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It’s hard to get excited about The Game Awards 2023

A good year for video games and a bad one for the people who make them

The Game Awards 2023 is just around the corner, which means we’ll find out about all the new games coming out over the next year and beyond. Well… all the games from the studios that could afford to pay the exorbitant price of having their game featured in the show.

If you’ve ever been online, you’ll know it’s considered cool to dunk on Geoff Keighley’s show, but it’s an event I usually look forward to in the absence of E3. I’m in this job because I love video games, and it’s the show that gives the best overview of what’s to come. But this year it’s hard to drum up much enthusiasm.

According to, which is a depressing name for a website, over 6500 game developers have lost their jobs to redundancy so far in 2023. As studios prepare for an economic downturn – which is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy when companies keep creating more unemployed people – thousands of good, hard workers are getting kicked to the curb.

Many of these companies are mega-successful, too. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, laid off over 800 people. Over 800! This is a company with an estimated revenue of $4.4 billion for 2023 and a CEO with an estimated wealth of $9.6 billion. That is wild!

Here's an incomplete list of other industry layoffs: Media Molecule, Unity, Telltale, Frontier, Firaxis, Digital Extremes, BioWare, Niantic, and the list goes on and on. 

An alien with large eyes and a black mask covering the bottom of of their face is depicted against a twilit backdrop of trees and open planes

Even Bungie wasn't safe from redundancies. 

Of course, some of the companies that have laid staff off are missing their projected revenue, but they’re still making a mint. The graph just isn’t going up enough, so livelihoods have to be destroyed. It’s a sad state. On top of this, advancements in AI technology are encroaching on almost every industry, from the arts to coding and even the media. Executives are salivating.

This year has been incredible for the players. Baldur’s Gate 3, Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2 – I can’t remember a year that’s been better. It’s a golden age for video games, but we’re not retaining the people that make these experiences so special.

How many trailers will we see at The Game Awards that were worked on by people who are now unemployed and worried about how they will pay their rent? How many of these people will even make the credits for the games they worked on? Meanwhile, the companies that laid them off are doling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to show their game trailer at a showcase. They’re paying influencers buckets of money to play the games and promote them to their audiences.

The awards themselves always felt secondary to the game trailers at TGAs – this year it’ll be harder to swallow than ever. Often, the people taking to the stage to accept the awards are locked in and out of danger, while the faceless workers are forgotten and pushed aside. We need to figure out how to better appreciate the people who make these experiences that help us through our own turmoil.