They’re talking about us again. Okay, they’re not talking about *us* exactly, but they are talking about the games industry moving toward the Hollywood model of production, with contractors working on a project-per-project basis. Japan wants in on the action, and Michael John touts the “free agent” status that has often been the norm, rather than the exception, for game writers. Although Michael draws a line between contractors and “free agents,” he describes a hiring process that is more common for writers than for outsourced labor.
If the rest of the game industry follows in writers’ footsteps, some questions immediately arise:
Will programmers have to have agents like we writers do, giving 10% to the man behind the curtain?
And the age-old question:
Will the games industry consolidate in one location to allow for easy transition from project to project, like Hollywood?
Finally, will games go the way of Hollywood and be burdened by unions? This said, of course, with all the love we can muster as members of the Writers Guild.
If the situation we face as game writers is the wave of the future, perhaps we have more to share with you than our writing expertise — we can also give you a glimpse of things to come.