Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams has commented on mass layoffs that are plaguing the games industry. And it is obvious that he can’t sympathize with the executives responsible for these decisions.

Tarn Adams (Image credit: Noclip)

Adams addressed this issue while speaking with PC Gamer at GDC 2024. Given the turbulent climate in the industry, he can’t imagine what challenges he might face with the further development of Dwarf Fortress three to four years from now.

Although he doesn’t know “what kind of decisions do we have to make [with] burn rates and all that stuff” in the future, nothing would make him sympathize with the people at the top who are now carrying out mass layoffs. “They can all eat s**t, I think they’re horrible, and I think they’re bad people,” Adams said.

He also doesn’t think that these are practical decisions, adding that they are driven by “greedy, greedy people trying to make some kind of venture capital thing work out.”

Speaking about the leadership of major game companies, Adams said “there is this stench of rot at the top of things where the reasons people get laid off is because of funding structures and bad incentives and stupidity.”

Of course, layoffs are happening not only because of greed, but the Dwarf Fortress developer is likely referring to executives who put profit growth above all else and only care about their golden parachutes.

According to the Game Industry Layoffs project, over 8,000 people have lost their jobs since the beginning of 2024. This includes nearly 6,000 job cuts in January and over 2,000 in February. Mass layoffs affected both big publishers and small studios, including 1,900 people at Microsoft’s gaming divisions, about 530 at Riot Games, 1,800 at Unity, 670 at Electronic Arts, and 900 at Sony Interactive Entertainment.

As for Dwarf Fortress, Tarn and Zack Adams continue to work on the game of their lives. In April, they will release the next major update, which will add the original Adventure Mode to the premium version of the game.

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