Tell Mario it ain’t safe no more


Senior Reporter

Sega Sammy is the latest in a line of companies to announce mass layoffs in the aftermath of the holiday season. According to, Sammy has laid off 560 workers, or 18 percent of its workforce.

The announcement follows what was a disappointing holiday season for retailers in general, and within weeks of similar announcements from game giants Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Eidos, and THQ, and the shutdown of game development studios Factor 5 and Free Radical. Microsoft announced 5,000 layoffs in January, many of which have affected it’s games division.

All this is happening in spite of analyst Michael Pachter’s declaration that the games industry is “recession proof.” And in the face of the almost universal reality of game industry layoffs, Pachter has insisted that it’s not because of the recession, but because the companies “planned poorly.” According to, Pacher said that if companies had stuck to producing sequels instead of high-risk new IPs, they would be doing fine.

I may not be a Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst, but I’d say it’s pretty clear that few industries are protected from the economic collapse, and video games aren’t one of them.