Once upon a time, I used to have dream projects and franchises I wanted to work on. I desperately wanted to work on the next game in the franchises I played and loved growing up. I had all these ideas and passion for them. Eventually I actually got my chance. I went to work on some of them. I got hired by one of the most well-known studios in the world. I was pleased as punch to clock in, work on an enormously famous IP and project, enjoy all the perks of the studio, and go home. It felt super duper awesome to be working on the thing players were excitedly talking about on the internet.
Then I was let go in a big layoff. All of that self-worth I had tied to my job and the project I was working on evaporated in an instant. I had to find another job. So I did. It wasn’t as glamorous as the one I had been let go from, but it paid the bills. Then another opportunity came along and I changed jobs again…. and then again, and then again. I worked at studios that were big and well-known and I worked at studios that were much smaller. I worked with some real amazing people that I remain friends with years later, and I worked with some real jerks.
Over time, I came to the realization that the project I was on and the studio I was at didn’t actually matter all that much. What mattered far more to me were the people I worked with. I care far more about having a legit dependable team that I can trust to challenge my ideas and work with me. I care far more about having a boss that I can trust to have my back and respects me. These are worth far more to me than any dream franchise or studio with amazing perks.
Today, I find myself again working on an enormously famous IP at a studio with some pretty great perks but, in the end, a job is still only a job. I’m a little older, a little wiser, and no longer putting as much of my self-worth into the name of the game I’m working on or the studio I’m working for. Make no mistake, they’re quite nice and I do appreciate them… but my priorities have changed. I like the team I’m working with and I like my boss, but I also know that we’re probably heading into a global recession and there are tech layoffs happening all over the place. I’m no longer chasing the dream project or the dream studio anymore… now what I value is more realistic - some stability with a team that respects me and I can respect in return.
But if you must have an answer from me for what my dream studio is… I think I’d like to go work for Atlus on the Persona franchise.
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