Tim Schafer, the Double Fine Productions president, has told Wired that it is bad for creativity when a company lays off employees following the completion of a game. The hire-fire-repeat cycle is not only bad for those employees, but it is also bad for business.
"One of the most frustrating things about the games industry is that teams of people come together to make a game, and maybe they struggle and make mistakes along the way, but by the end of the game they’ve learned a lot — and this is usually when they are disbanded," said Schafer. "Instead of being allowed to apply all those lessons to a better, more efficiently produced second game, they are scattered to the winds and all that wisdom is lost."
"After Psychonauts, we could have laid off half our team so that we’d have more money and time to sign Brutal Legend," said Schafer. "But doing so would have meant breaking up a team that had just learned how to work well together. And what message would that have sent to our employees? It would say that we’re not loyal to them, and that we don’t care."
"Which would make them wonder,: Schafer continued, "'Why should we be loyal to this company?' If you’re not loyal to your team you can get by for a while, but eventually you will need to rely on their loyalty to you and it just won’t be there."