I went to work yesterday, knowing that I may very well be leaving without a job. It began with the grapevine; talks of layoffs around the water-cooler were a daily event for months. Finally, word came from on high that there would indeed be layoffs. Who and when, were anyone's guess.
Eventually, October 15th was eyed as THE day. Lo and behold, indeed it was. I'm not at liberty to say how many people were laid off, but it was not an insignificant number. And unfortunately, I was among them.
I'm not sure what metrics they used to determine who stayed and who would be cut. I was told 'it's us, not you' and I believe them. Personally, I had nothing but positive experiences at Turbine and I can say without hesitation that my work was solid and that I was a productive and amicable member of the team. In fact, no-one I saw that got laid off 'deserved it.' There were some surprising choices and I saw some really talented, hard working and just all around good people lose their jobs. It was a sad day indeed.
That said, them's the breaks. I have no ill will towards Turbine. The games industry is tumultuous. Publishers (in Turbine's case, Warner Brothers) pretty much dictate the numbers. I know there were a lot of heavy hearts among management yesterday. Their's was not an easy job.
So anyhow, I'm beating the pavement, keeping my eyes peeled, among other hackneyed phrases. The Boston area has a growing and vibrant tech, design and game dev community. I'm looking forward to what's next.
One thing about this event that will stick with me, is the outpouring of sympathy and genuine affection I felt from my former co-workers (those laid off and those still working). Management let everyone go home after the announcement and I was amazed at how many people stuck around, while those selected waited to have their exit interviews. Beers at the Biltmore afterwards soothed frazzled nerves, laments turned to jokes, jokes lead to hugs and goodbyes. It was a good day despite it simultaneously, completely sucking.
I was only there for 10 months, but I'll sure miss working with those folks (and one dog).