Yesterday, the AEG website noted that they were laying off a number of people. Word has it that other companies have also let a few employees go in recent days. Still other publishers, like Decipher and Guardians of Order have had troubles this past year too. This naturally led some people to wonder if the entire RPG industry—or perhaps the gaming industry itself—might finally collapse on itself like an (ahem) house of cards.
I don’t believe it for a second.
I’ve been through this part of the cycle a number of times. Sales go down for a while. A few companies that were on the edge topple closer to it. Some even fall over it. The industry rolls on, and a few months later the ones that are left—and a few new ones to boot—are doing better than ever, often riding on the coattails of a hot new category that no one could have expected.
More to the point, I think AEG is going to be around for a long time. I know John Zinser and the rest of the crew over there. We were partners in Pinnacle Entertainment Group at one time, and we went through a round of layoffs at Pinnacle too. You don’t do these things because you like to, you do them because you need to, and John’s smart enough to do it before whatever problems the company is having grew large enough to choke them. They’ll come through it fine. And so will the adventure gaming industry too.