Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces, and a Quest classroomOffice is out, but school is in session.Quest Workspaces, a co-working operator with 12 locations in Florida and New York, is turning some of its enclosed office space into small pods where groups of students can gather for virtual learning.The move comes as many school districts are opting to forgo in-person teaching for the start of the new school year, due to Covid-19. At the same time, it’s a means for co-working, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, to cope with declining demand for office space.In New York, co-working leasing was down 84 percent in the first quarter, year-over-year, according to commercial brokerage JLL.Co-working operators like Quest, Industrious and WeWork are looking for ways to fill that space.For Quest, the pods will function essentially as small classrooms. Students will be dropped off in the morning to go to their pods, to be accompanied by a tutor, teacher, parent or supervisor.“It’s no different than what we do in terms of managing our space. We can bring companies together of all different sizes,” said Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces. “There is a need for people to get out of their homes.”The Quest Micro-Class Pods start at $200 per child per month, for children of Quest members. For nonmembers, the pods start at $400 per child per month. The pods can include up to six students per pod, and are primarily geared toward high school or middle school students, Kozelouzek said. In South Florida, Quest has two locations on Brickell Avenue and in Coral Gables, and one each in Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. Quest also has two offices in New York City.Suzanne West, a longtime user of Quest’s New York and Miami locations, is considering leasing a pod for her stepdaughter, who is an incoming freshman at Miami Beach Senior High. “I am very comfortable having my daughter there,” West said. “We can have supervision. They can even be on other schedules.”New York-based Industrious is also considering the move. “This is something we are exploring internally to determine whether or not it can be done safely and responsibly,” said a spokesperson for the company.WeWork’s CEO Sandeep Mathrani has also said previously that the company is considering using its space for classrooms.In Chicago, Optima Signature, a 56-story, 490-unit apartment tower in the Streeterville neighborhood, is converting four of its 25 office suites into classrooms, the Chicago Tribune reported. Interest is expected to come from families whose children attend the Montessori school in the tower, according to the report.The new business line could help an office sector that was ailing even prior to the pandemic.Leasing activity for co-working, also known as flexible space, dropped 50 percent globally in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year, according to JLL.Lending to buildings in which co-working is a tenant is also difficult, according to David Eyzenberg of Eyzenberg & Company, who arranges financing for commercial real estate projects.“It was hard to finance office properties where co-working took up a significant percentage of space,” Eyzenberg said. “If it was a multi-tenant property, it was possible, but if it was a single co-working tenant space it was very difficult and expensive. Throughout the pandemic, it’s been more difficult.”Many of the lagging leasing figures in co-working stem from embattled WeWork. Last year, the New York-based company pulled out of its initial public offering and saw its valuation drop from $47 billion to about $5 billion. WeWork recently hired JLL and CBRE to help fill millions of square feet now vacant in New York City and Los Angeles. The company closed its location on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road and pulled out of a planned 115,000-square-foot lease at 149 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.Yet, co-working’s woes could eventually be alleviated, according to JLL. The firm projects that in the future, companies will gravitate to co-working, or flexible office space, as fewer firms will want to commit to long-term leases. JLL projects that 30 percent of all office space will be consumed flexibly by 2030.Still, challenges remain in the near term. “People are afraid to go into those types of environments,” said Colliers International Florida’s Keith Edelman, referring to some crowded co-working spaces. “We are going to start seeing those spaces downsizing.” Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink TagsCoworkingWeWork
One in four U.S. hotels is at risk of foreclosure. Many hospitality companies have laid off staff and some have gone bankrupt.“With record low travel demand, thousands of hotels can’t afford to pay their commercial mortgages and are facing foreclosure, with the harsh reality of having to close their doors permanently,” said Chip Rogers, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The association is asking Washington for an industry bailout.After months of sitting empty, hotels have only recently returned to some sense of normalcy. With overall occupancy rising for 17 of the last 18 weeks, the rate has finally hit the 50 percent mark for the first time since mid-March.Still, in New York City, occupancy stands at 41 percent, a 54 percent decline from the same time last year. That could be in part a result of the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers from states where Covid-19 infections exceed 10 percent.[Crain’s] — Sasha Jones Share via Shortlink Foreclosures may be on the horizon for New York City’s hotel market, where there’s nearly $1.5 billion in unpaid CMBS debt. (iStock) New York’s hotel industry has a whole lot of debt and none of it is getting paid.There are $1.47 billion worth of commercial mortgage-backed securities loans on hotels that have gone unpaid, Crain’s reported. That’s the largest wave of hotel delinquencies in the country. It’s pushed the greater New York market’s delinquency rate to nearly 39 percent, compared to the usual 1 percent rate nationally.Read moreUS hotel occupancy hits highest point since mid-MarchNearly 1 in 6 FHA mortgages are delinquentNYC restaurants: Give us indoor dining or we’ll sue Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsbankruptcyHotel MarketMortgages
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsBrown Harris StevensSotheby’s International Realty Share via Shortlink Also on Friday, Sotheby’s said it had hired a trio of agents from BHS. Caroline Guthrie, Kathryn Steinberg and Armin Allen were part of the Edward Lee Cave team that joined BHS in 2009 when it acquired Cave’s boutique firm.Cave, a former chief auctioneer at Sotheby’s auction house, became a legendary agent and founding chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in 1976 before spinning off his eponymous firm.“We thank Caroline, Kathryn and Armin for the many great years and contributions they made to BHS and we wish them well,” a spokesperson for BHS said, adding that 11 agents from Cave’s team will remain at the firm.Guthrie, Steinberg and Allen bring decades of experience and Upper East Side connections to Sotheby’s, which is part of real estate conglomerate Realogy.Guthrie, who has sold $1 billion worth of real estate, is also a former managing director of sales for BHS’ Madison Avenue office. “Sellers today really want their properties to receive maximum exposure in every corner of the globe,” she said, referring to Sotheby’s international network.Steinberg has sold the former home of John D. Rockefeller at 740 Park Avenue, among other exclusive addresses such as 834 Fifth Avenue.Poore, meanwhile, is known for his roster of celebrity clients. Last year, he was the listing broker for designer Marc Jacobs, who put his West Village townhouse on the market for $15.995 million. In 2017, he sold a $10 million penthouse at Stella Tower to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. Poore also had the listing for pop artist James Rosenquist’s townhouse at 162 Chambers Street, which sold for $11.8 million in 2018, according to property records.In a statement, Poore cited the fresh energy at BHS led by CEO Bess Freedman, which recently merged with Halstead. After a successful run at Sotheby’s, he said he felt “it was time to move to a new firm with new energy in order to level-up my business.”Although most firms had to make financial cuts over the last six months, some have been recruiting. Compass grew by 11 percent, or 250 agents, between March and June, according to a recent analysis of Department of State data by The Real Deal.BHS and Halstead saw a net loss in headcount of 1.6 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. That works out to around 38 agents. From left: Chris Poore, Kathryn Steinberg, Armin Allen and Caroline Guthrie (Getty, BHS)Chris Poore is bringing his A-list rolodex to Brown Harris Stevens.On Friday, the firm said Poore and Eyal Dagan, his husband and business partner, will join the residential firm after six years at Sotheby’s International Realty, where they sold real estate to clients including designer Marc Jacobs and comedian Trevor Noah. Since 2014, the duo has sold $350 million worth of real estate.The move comes at a time when the city’s agents are getting back to work after Gov. Andrew Cuomo barred in-person home showings this spring. In response, many firms enacted cost-cutting measures to ride out the pandemic.But many have started recruiting again, too.Read moreBHS, Halstead merge Who’s recruiting during Covid? (Hint: Compass) Layoffs and furloughs hit NYC’s biggest resi firms
Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink The Northeast is driving gains in building permits and housing starts (iStock)Building permits and housing starts in the U.S. jumped in September, largely driven by activity in the Northeast.Privately owned housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.41 million units, up 1.9 percent from a revised August estimate, according to Inman. Single-family housing saw 1,108,000 units, up 8.5 percent from August, based on census data.Read moreHousing demand sent construction spending up in AugustHousing starts jump as homebuilder confidence risesPandemic may wipe out $16B in construction spending: report TagsBuilding permitsConstructionResidentialResidential Real Estate “Today’s U.S. Census data shows that permits, starts and completions were bolstered by record-high builder optimism, and a strong wave of buyer demand in September,” realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu told Inman in a statement. “However, homebuilders must balance the need to address an acute shortage of housing with the increasing costs of labor, materials and land.”Building permits for privately owned housing units increased 5.2 percent from August, and single-family authorizations went up 7.8 percent. Month-over-month completions in both of these categories jumped 15.3 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.Activity in the Northeast largely drove the increases. New, privately-owned housing units authorized on a seasonally adjusted basis in the region were up by 25.8 percent from August, and the total number of new privately owned housing units started skyrocketed 66.7 percent.[Inman] — Sasha Jones
GameStop raises $2.8m for St. Jude Children’s Research HospitalRetailer supports charity with annual donation scheme Rachel WeberSenior EditorThursday 7th January 2016Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleGameStopRetailer GameStop has raised $2.8 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through in-store and online donation programs through November and December. “The support of our amazing corporate partners, like GameStop, allows our doctors and scientists to continue our lifesaving work,” said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for the hospital. “Their unwavering commitment to St. Jude also helps us to keep my father’s founding promise that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. At St. Jude, we will never stop searching for the cures that will save the lives of children everywhere.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital focuses on childhood cancer and life-threatening diseases. Since 2013 Gamestop has raised $4.2 million for the charity. “Our customers are truly amazing,” added Matt Hodges, vice president of public and investor relations at GameStop. “Thanks to each customer that donated. Because of their generosity and the incredible support of our associates, we collected $2.8 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Together we are all making a difference in helping the patients and families of St. Jude.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesGameStop opening new US east coast fulfillment centerNew 700,000 square-foot Pennsylvania facility opens later this year, intended to support ecommerce “transformation”By Brendan Sinclair 9 days agoGameStop CEO reportedly due to receive $179m windfallOutgoing chief benefits from GameStop stock surgeBy Marie Dealessandri 20 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Overwatch League attracts 10m viewers in its first weekAverage audience of 408,000 per minute for opening day, concurrent viewers peaks at 437,000James BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 17th January 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleActivision BlizzardBlizzardActivision Blizzard’s biggest push into the esports sector to date is off to a strong start with more than ten million people tuning in to the Overwatch League so far.The tournament has been positioned as “the world’s first major global city-based professional esports league” and kicked off last week with four days of competitions at Blizzard’s venue in Los Angeles.The publisher has now revealed viewing figures for the first week – almost a third of the 35 million Overwatch players worldwide.The 10m viewers were spread across Twitch, which won a last minute exclusive broadcasting deal, along with Major League Gaming. There were also various Chinese streaming partners, given the game’s popularity in that market, including ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV.Blizzard also suggests that this is the number of browsers/devices tuned in to the League, hinting that even more people could have been checking out the action at the watch parties community members have organised around the world.There were an average of 408,000 people per minute watching the opening day matches, with the first week’s average at 280,000 per minute. The most popular match so far appeared to be Dallas Fuel vs Seoul Dynasty, also on the first day, which attracted an audience of 437,000 via Twitch and MLG alone – the peak concurrent online audience so far.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games There was also a sizeable audience presence at the actual matches, with tickets to the L.A. Blizzard Arena sold out for the whole week. The first season continues until June, with playoffs and finals currently scheduled for July.Major League Gaming’s president and CEO Pete Vlastelica said Overwatch’s userbase of 35m players means the competition “has the potential to become one of the most-watched leagues – of any kind – in the world.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision Blizzard wins patent lawsuit after nine yearsThe judge ruled that the patents were “not inventions” of Worlds Incorporated, which was suing for infringementBy Marie Dealessandri 6 days agoCall of Duty, King push Activision Blizzard to record Q1 revenuesPublisher’s revenues jump 27% to $2.28 billion as Call of Duty Mobile’s Chinese debut helps drive Activision division sales up 72% year-over-yearBy Brendan Sinclair 7 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
The decade-long journey of a single mother into the games industryKick Alley Soccer: The augmented reality app that was ten years too earlyHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterTuesday 27th March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareWe’ve all heard the story of the intrepid indie developer who mortages their house in a desperate attempt to raise the capital to complete their magnum opus.It’s usually a young white male with a background in game design who left a safe job at a studio in order to make the next Journey or Braid. But the story of Jennifer Kapsch bucks that trend and, despite costing $30,000 over ten years, still has a long way to go. Kapsch, a 58 year-old single mother from Canada, began her arduous journey into the games industry ten years ago, when watching her close friend, Loai Sahir Abdulla, sit and kick a ball down a hallway while he was recovering from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. The concept for the app was to make an augmented reality version of that experience to aid recovery from similar surgeries; an idea so simple it’s almost maddening. On the surface, Kick Alley Soccer may not look like much but there is a potential there which isn’t immediately obvious, as it taps into a very specific market; people with leg injuries who like football. With 270 million soccer players in the world, 3.5 billion fans, and 270,000 people a year having ACL surgery in the United States alone, Kapsch is confident it can succeed. Jennifer with her two sons, Justin and Kristopher “We’re humble, we’ve kept all our figures and projections on the low side, even in my business plan because we’re not going to say that it will make millions or that we need millions,” Kapsch tells GamesIndustry.biz. “We don’t. We’ve been doing this for ten years, we know we can do it. $150,000 would get both games [iOS and Android] on the stores and with a little advertising. We know, we’re confident, we believe in the game and the health benefits of the game.”In 2017, when one of her sons was recovering from his second ACL surgery, his physiotherapist agreed to let him incorporate Kick Alley Soccer into his recovery. According to Kapsch, his healing process was noticeably expedited as he began to regularly work the injured knee using the app, along with keeping his other leg healthy during extended sedentary periods. Combined with the recent upsurge in wearable tech like the Fitbit, the floodgates of possibility opened. Kapsch sees Kick Alley Soccer as the beginning of something much larger, and she is currently devising a host of new applications for AR tied into wearable tech.“To be taken seriously, in my position as a woman of my age in this industry, it’s extremely difficult” “There’s a huge lack of patient generated data right now,” she says. “Physicians are encouraging the innovation of wearables, and how they can use wearables connected to mobile devices to transmit that patient data directly to the them… On strength, on muscles, on oxygen levels, on all kinds of medical data so that they can track their patients progress even when the patient isn’t there.” Of course, when Kapsch had her lighbulb moment back in 2007, augmented reality primarily existed in the realm of military operations and high-concept performance art. Her idea was still years ahead of the capabilities of smartphone hardware. So, with no immediate path available for her to pursue the concept, Kapsch wrote it down, dated it, and stored it a safety deposit box at the bank. The spark that would become Kick Alley Soccer lay dormant until 2008, when the global financial crisis hit and Kapsch lost her job. Seeing this as an opportunity, she sold her house and moved city to study event planning at university. “I was in this house, a single mum with two boys and no job,” says Kapsch. “I decided, what am I going to do at my age, 49? I gotta bring myself up a bit because technology was really growing fast at that time. It was crazy. I had to bring myself up to the level of these youngsters coming out of school with all this education.”At school, Kapsch was by far the oldest member of the class, and even faced bullying and harassment from some of the the younger students. “It was a very difficult journey, but I did not quit,” she says. “My father instilled that in us at a very young age. He was a concentration camp survivor, so we learned very early on that you do not quit, and that life can get bad but you just keep going. There is a spark and you keep going.”The dogged determination that took Kapsch through school is what reignited Kick Alley Soccer. During this time, technology slowly began to catch up with her idea, and by 2011 smartphones had begun to proliferate. “By that time I was thinking, ‘I don’t know, I’m getting older, who is going to listen to me?'” says Kapsch. “My idea didn’t even have the technology available to develop it yet. Augmented reality wasn’t even a word.”Up until that moment, Kapsch’s idea was little more than just that: an idea. There was no tech behind it, no investment, and she had no knowledge of the games industry or how to safely navigate it. But the idea itself was something she believed in strongly enough to take the plunge. What little money she had left from the sale of her house and furniture became the capital she needed to begin pursuing it. “My father… was a concentration camp survivor so we learned very early on that you do not quit” Along with Abdulla, her partner in the Kick Alley Soccer venture, Kapsch began searching for developers who could help them bring their app to life. “Around 75 per cent of the time I wouldn’t get an answer back. I had questions, I needed guidance, I needed advice,” she says. “Many times I was ignored, or just not taken seriously.”The rejections began to mount up even as technology began keeping pace with the idea. “Each one was challenging to take, and there were many moments where I felt like I was on this ladder just hanging at the bottom, but the ladder is there and it’s not going anywhere,” says Kapsch. “So that means your belief is strong… because that original vision was a health idea. My idea was to help people that are suffering from injuries and recuperating from surgeries. An entertaining game that they could play that health benefits at the same time.” The first breakthrough came in 2012 when Indian developer Softnotions cobbled together a rough prototype as a proof of concept. At the time Kapsch was working two or even three jobs to help cover the costs. But even then, augmented reality tech was miles from where it needed to be, and after getting the demo and releasing it onto Google Play, Kapsch’s progress slowed once more to a crawl. That was until 2016, with the release of Pokémon Go; the irrefutable proof that augmented reality had a future. “When Pokémon Go comes out, I’m crying into my soup because I thought ‘No! This is not fair,'” says Kapsch. “I had an idea for augmented reality years ago but I’m not a big company, I don’t have millions of dollars. I’m a nobody, I’m not in the Silicon Valley.“We’re not going to say that it will make millions or that we need millions. We don’t. We’ve been doing this for ten years, we know we can do it” “But that idea, Pokémon Go, that excitement and growth, that was an amazing inspiration. It was that push to keep going because I could really see it happening. I knew if I stayed visible someone would see me. There are billions of people on this earth. There had to be someone.”And sure enough there was someone. In late 2016 Ukrainian developer AVRspot reached out to Kapsch and offered to help her with a new demo for iOS and Android. By this point she was out of pocket by $25,000 after paying multiple developers that failed to fulfil their promises over the years. “That might not seem like a lot of money when you’re speaking about games, but it was a lot for us,” says Kapsch. “We’re humble family people. We sold a lot of things to get there, and worked two or three jobs along the way. We had no more left to sell. There was nothing left of value.”With the two demos, and the proof that it can aid in post-surgery recovery, Kapsch now just needs the final push to fully realise her vision; unfortunately it has a price tag of around $150,000, and comes with a number of other hurdles. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “To be taken seriously, in my position as a woman of my age in this industry, it’s extremely difficult,” says Kapsch. “Even from other women, because it’s such an unproven idea and concept, it’s taking longer to progress and they want to see the future. What’s going to happen one year from now, two years from now? That’s what I need help with.”But Kapsch’s chipper demeanour seems unshakeable and, after being invited to the UK for PocketGamer Connects and Gamesforum London, she still has belief in her idea and is committed to making it work. “I got a lot of rejections, but those rejections are just tiny challenges,” she says. “It’s a lesson you learn. Every failure is a lesson, my father taught me, and you only succeed if you learn from those challenges. Never give up, and keep going.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The VR & AR newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 12 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 16 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
BetaDwarf receives investment of undisclosed amount from London Venture PartnersFunds will be focused into establishing games as a service strategy ahead of Minion Masters launchHaydn TaylorSenior Staff WriterTuesday 17th April 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareBetaDwarf revealed this week that London Venture Partners invested an undisclosed amount in the Copenhagen-based indie developer. The funding will be channeled towards establishing a games as a service strategy, fostering community development and streamer operations, and hiring key talent as the studio prepares to launch Minion Masters on PC and Xbox. “While the PC gaming market has gotten a lot less attention and investment these last years during the growth of mobile, we are seeing the coming of a golden age of PC gaming,” said Are Mack Growen, at London Venture Partners.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “Tools, AI, distribution, business models, designs, community involvement are all rapidly changing, presenting problems for incumbents and enabling exciting new IPs, designs and studios to reach mass audiences and establish hobbies for millions of people. “With game viewing, esports and the new level of community involvement, the very definition of what game companies are making is expanding and changing. “All this makes us very excited about PC and console games, and in particular about teams like BetaDwarf, who are so in touch with this changing landscape and willing to explore and iterate fast.” Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesCEO says Paradox “can do better” as Q1 profits plummet”We are not satisfied with the quarter,” CEO Ebba Ljungerud saidBy Marie Dealessandri 14 hours agoStarbreeze’s Q1 losses shrink 95% to $505,000New CEO Tobias Sjögren says “the road ahead is clear” as Payday 3 is fully funded By James Batchelor 14 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (8)Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes2 years ago The biggest element would be healthcare coverage through the union and not the employer ; in the US these people are high and dry, decent family coverage runs $1500 a month – where the hell do you find that when your paycheck just got stopped. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyNicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief2 years ago @Cal Janik-Jones: I worry that unions would make this “problematic managers” problem worse. The idea that you can make a company “run better” by unionising seems flawed. Most games companies are dependent on a handful of large contracts. Chucking union reps into the middle of these problems seems unlikely to help.I do believe that we should have games unions. I think they can help with standard terms and conditions, with helping workers understand what is appropriate (and how to fight for it) and so on. I also believe that unions will make these kind of collapses *more* common not less; it’s just that I believe that the other benefits are worth having enough to justify the downside. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyDan Amrich Community Developer, Ubisoft2 years ago For those ex-Telltale employees who are affected by this, Ubisoft is hosting a small event today at BJ’s in San Rafael, on the patio. All affected Telltale employees are welcome to join for drinks and snacks at 4:30pm — we’re hiring and we might be able to help each other out. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyHugo Trepanier Senior Game Designer, Ludia2 years ago Nicholas, I presume a large-scale union would help relocate staff to other studios, not just within a single studio. I’m not sure how that would work out in markets that can’t support the workforce, again I only suppose relocation services would have to be offered. Or this would likely create major development hubs in select cities, much like Hollywood is today. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyNicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief2 years ago @Hugo Trepanier: I’m not sure that a union would help here, with the relocation of staff. I mean, it would be better to have someone co-ordinating that not having someone, but job hunting doesn’t seem like a positive reason for a union to me. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyNicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief2 years ago @Richard Browne: is that common in the US? For the union to pay for healthcare not the employer? Or is that emergency cover in circumstances like this? (I’m from the UK, thank the Lord I don’t believe in for the NHS). 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyCal Janik-Jones QA & Localization, DrinkBox Studios2 years ago @Nicholas Lovell: a number of articles came out earlier this year that attested to a long history of toxic management at Telltale. The hope with unionization is that not only severance, relocation, and healthcare (like Richard and Hugo mentioned) be guaranteed for workers, but also that problematic managers and workplace culture can be confronted long before crunch burns a studio out. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. Telltale’s treatment of staff “a problem endemic in the industry”Pro-union group Game Workers Unite lambasts Telltale for cutting staff with no severance pay or healthcareMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefMonday 24th September 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareThe pro-union organisation Game Workers Unite has categorised the treatment of laid off staff at Telltale as, “a problem endemic in the industry.”In a post on its website, Game Workers Unite criticised Telltale for leaving a reported 225 people in the position of being, “denied pay and healthcare without notice or severance, left vulnerable in an area with an extremely high cost of living.” It also added that, “some of those workers were just recently hired.”These claims are consistent with reports – mostly on Twitter – from members of staff who were affected by extensive layoffs at the studio last week. Character artist Brandon Cebenka said, “None of my sleepless nights or long hours on weekends trying to ship a game on time got me severance today. Don’t work overtime unless you’re paid for it, y’all… Companies don’t care about you.””None of my sleepless nights or long hours on weekends trying to ship a game on time got me severance today” Former Telltale artist Brandon CebenkaNarrative designer Emily Grace Buck offered even more detail, suggesting that the actual number of layoffs was closer to 250 people, and reiterating that there was no severance pay, or healthcare beyond a single week. She supported the claim that some employees had started “as recently as a week ago”, with at least one having “relocated cross country.””Due to the insanely high cost of living in the Bay Area relative to payscale, many of my… colleagues were living paycheck to paycheck and do not know what they are going to do to make ends meet this month,” she added.Game Workers Unite, which was established to further the cause of unionising the games industry, described Telltale’s executives as “incompetent” and “exploitative” based on the nature of the studio’s decline and its treatment of the workforce. It also referenced an article from The Verge in March this year, which painted a troubling picture of the studio’s internal culture.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “This problem is not isolated to only Telltale or the executives there – this is a problem that we see time and time again throughout the industry; and we will continue to see as long as management is able to take advantage of workers,” the statement read. “Just within the past month we’ve seen three major studio closures. The system for creating games is broken, and it will result in the collapse of many other beloved studios in the future.”If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on [email protected] employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 11 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 15 hours agoLatest comments (8)Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief2 years ago While I agree with “The system for creating games is broken, and it will result in the collapse of many other beloved studios in the future”, it is not clear how unionising would have stopped this.I am broadly supportive of the unionisation of the games industry, but it would be good to understand how it would help. It seems likely to help when a team gets canned at the end of a project. It seems unlikely to help when a studio goes bust.
Larian Studios will not “participate in the exclusivity game” with Baldur’s Gate IIIThe long awaited RPG sequel will not be exclusive to Google Stadia or any other platformMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefFriday 7th June 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleLarian StudiosLarian Studios will not “participate in the exclusivity game,” its CEO Swen Vincke has said, clarifying confusion over whether the forthcoming Baldur’s Gate III would exclusive to Google Stadia.Destiny 2 aside, Larian’s Baldur’s Gate III was arguably the most striking game in the launch line-up for Google’s streaming service. However, it was certainly the biggest new announcement, which caused some confusion as to whether the long-awaited sequel would be available on other platforms.”There is no exclusive attachment to Stadia,” Vincke told IGN. “It was important to us to tell our players ‘we’re not going to participate in the exclusivity game.'”There are already store pages for Baldur’s Gate III on Steam and GOG. There is no sign of the game on the Epic Games Store yet, but Larian has clarified to USGamer that this is not indicative of its release strategy.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games In fact, the reason that Baldur’s Gate was announced during yesterday’s Stadia stream speaks to Larian’s reluctance to play, “the exclusivity game.” Vincke told IGN that he is “a believer” in Google’s technology because it makes it easier for developers be completely platform agnostic.”I believe that the game should adapt to the device, but that the device shouldn’t matter when you play it,” Vincke said. “That’s literally what Stadia is doing also, so that’s where that worked out well.”The Baldur’s Gate series was created by Bioware in 1998, with the sequel following in 2000. It is one of the most admired RPG series in the history of the industry, and with its Divinity: Original Sin games, Larian Studios is now recognised as one of the current masters of the genre.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesLarian plays dungeon master for a new era of Baldur’s GateCEO Swen Vincke talks Larian’s growth, recreating the accessibility of D&D with Baldur’s Gate 3, and finding the right balance when working on an iconic IPBy Marie Dealessandri A year agoDivinity: Original Sin 2 close to 500,000 sales in 4 daysLarian’s sequel has comfortably outperformed the first game in commercial termsBy Matthew Handrahan 3 years agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.