How much, if at all, does how well received your games are affect your future job prospects? I understand that if you’re new, it would be beneficial to show you’ve just pushed out something. What about a veteran dev? If you have bad reviewed games, does that factor into the hiring process?

A shipped game's reception really only affects the job prospects of the top leadership that made the biggest decisions about the game. If you weren't the executive producer or one of the top leads for a game, then your personal ability to affect the game's overall reception is actually very small - you do the best you can, but those kind of game-directing decisions are generally above your pay grade. The things a particular candidate worked on might not have anything to do with the bad reception a game got.

What is much more valuable is the experience you earned while building the badly-received game and how those lessons made you a better game dev. At an interview, the hiring manager will typically ask the key questions about your past game dev experience - what kind of work you did, what kind of difficult challenges you faced, what solutions you came up with to circumvent those challenges, and what you do differently if you had the opportunity to do it again. It speaks well of a candidate if they can show that they've learned their lessons and can apply those lessons to future projects.

Many of us veterans have badly-reviewed games on our resume. I've certainly got my share of stinkers on mine. I am actually proud of the work I did on the badly-reviewed games I worked on because I know that the work I did was well-done and that the quality of my work was absolutely not the reason the game was badly reviewed. If you ask me about any of them, I could tell you exactly what I did on that game, why I did it, how well it worked out, what worked and what didn't, and what I would do differently if I had a do-over opportunity. That's what I look for as a hiring manager too - I want to know whether candidates can overcome the challenges I expect them to face if I hire them. Most of this has very little to do with the reception a particular game got, especially for a candidate who isn't being considered for a leadership position.

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