Hello! I’m John Emerson – VFX Artist at Black Ice Studios and Budget Manager for the City of Derby, Kansas. I have a Master’s of Public Administration with an emphasis certificate in Finance from the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs at Wichita State University and a Bachelor’s of Science from Wichita State University.
I created videogamelayoffs.com after studying negative externalities attributed to Blizzard’s Irvine campus on the local governments’ budgetary concerns and subsequent regular news articles about mass layoffs in the video games industry. Video Game Layoffs is a database I have gathered, and continue to expand upon, of news articles and government notices such as Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) compliance notices issued by major employers in the industry. I do keep track of smaller numbered layoff events, however that is not the primary purpose of this data set.
My methodology currently utilizes news articles and follow-ups with sources and news producers to create this database. As a rule, I do not post unverified information. Video Game Layoffs is not a news site, it is a database. If you are interested in the full data set I regularly update that as well and it is accessible in both Excel and PDF versions in the menu.
While I continue to research the impact of video game layoffs on local economies, I am most interested in what other external effects mass layoffs may have such as lost health insurance, lost wages and income on non-tradable workers, and foregone sales taxes attributable to the areas that studios reside in. It is unfortunate when business cycles demand scaling down production staff and/or studios seek the lowest production costs areas and subsidization resulting in moving studios and loss of wages. It is fair to say that such losses do not simply impact those workers and their families, but everyone in that studio’s local economic area. My hope is that this website helps inform you about industry patterns and impacts. We will never fully stop layoffs, but perhaps we can make transitions less impactful, both directly and indirectly.
Please check back again soon.