Tami Sigmund, senior producer at Blizzard, has shared her thoughts on the problem of senior devs leaving big game companies during the pandemic. Although people keep speculating about it, there are some objective reasons for this situation.

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Sigmund published a thread on Twitter after seeing comments about Blizzard “bleeding” its senior developers. “It’s not some weird conspiracy, even if people are trying to cast it in that light,” she wrote, trying to make it clear for people on the Internet.

She highlighted several reasons why Blizzard and other AAA studios are now losing senior employees.

First of all, the pandemic has shifted people’s priorities, with many employees moving to other cities or seeking remote jobs. According to Sigmund, some people leave AAA companies because they see a lot of VC money “being thrown around” or find new roles at “tempting startups.”

“Every week there are dozens of “this is goodbye” posts,” she wrote, saying that no studio is now immune to losing senior developers.

The thread eventually became viral, making people who don’t even work in the industry share their opinions. However, there were a lot of replies from other senior video games professionals who confirmed Sigmund’s statements.

Allen Murray, head of production at Private Division, agreed with everything she said. “There is so much more and varied money being invested in games right now,” he wrote. “The landscape is so different from even 5 years ago.”

Bungie’s Robert Schuster also highlighted another issue of companies not promoting game designers and complaining about not having enough senior specialists.

“I was also thinking how this impacts Juniors currently looking for a job since usually you would need Seniors to mentor and guide them,” Ubisoft Berlin senior environment artist Timothy Dries wrote.

Hinterland Games CEO Raphael van Lierop said that non-AAA studios are now also losing employees, calling this process the Great Talent Migration of 2021.”

Indie developer Simon Roth said that he recently received a few “urgent” offers for senior roles, confirming that some UK studios are now also losing their leads.

Journalist Jason Schreier also agreed with Sigmund’s statements, saying AAA studios still make people go back to the office and don’t accept full-time remote work. “Companies are going to have to be flexible to hold onto their people,” he wrote.

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