The news has made national headlines this past week. Many of us have noticed that the majority of our senior leadership at Microsoft have had to go through lay-offs. It has also brought up a lot of questions about how the company is handling it. It is not fair to put the blame on each individual. It is, however, a reflection of an individual’s lack of self-awareness and self-confidence.
The news that comes with this kind of news, is that the lack of self-awareness and self-confidence was on display last week when the company announced it had laid off over 100,000 employees. That is a lot for one company, especially when you consider that the company has over 50,000 employees worldwide (and counting). Microsoft is in fact the largest software company in the world, and it’s not a company that is overly concerned with keeping a happy workforce.
There was a bit of controversy over the layoffs, but mostly because of the company’s history of firing people for performance or the lack thereof. Microsoft has been known to fire people for a variety of reasons, and the reason given for the layoffs was “a number of factors”. In this case, the employees laid off were mostly doing well according to Microsoft’s own metrics of productivity.
Microsoft is known for constantly firing people for poor performance. The company’s employee culture is a little different though, where the company isn’t worried so much about looking for a reason to fire people, but rather about firing people because they perform to a standard they themselves set (or at least a standard they think they can set) and then firing them for the better reason (or reasons) that they had.
The game’s main mechanic is to be very precise and to be very deliberate about what you do, and this is particularly useful when the company is in turmoil or under siege.
The new employee culture at Xbox is all about being precise about what you do. So, the developers of Deathloop did exactly that. They spent so much time on the art team designing the game, that they had to let the gameplay team take on the job of finding flaws in the code. This is something that is common in many video game companies, where the art team has to work closely with the programming team to get the game functioning smoothly.
In the same way that the developers of Killzone 3 had to let the programmers of their zombie shooter take on the job of making the zombies more efficient, they had to let the lead artist of Deathloop take over the design and development of the game’s weapons. He had to make the guns and gadgets so cool to handle that players could feel like they were in the middle of a tactical war. It turned into a very cool experience.
It’s a little strange that the lead artist who took over the development of the game’s weapons has been let go from the team. We don’t know if that’s a coincidence or not, but he’s been with us for a little while now, so I would expect him to be a very active and engaged member of our team.
We have no idea what we’ve done with this, but we have a lot of ideas.
Maybe it is just a weird coincidence, but it seems like the lead artist who was working on the weapons weapons has been let go from the team. Its not that we don’t like him, but we dont have a lot of experience with him. We don’t know what the reason is for this.