Billboard Outside Summer Game Fest Pays Tribute To Everyone Who’s Lost Their Industry Jobs

Gif: Stephen Totilo / Kotaku

Hundreds of the biggest names in the video game industry are gathered in Los Angeles for Summer Game Fest this week. Most of the week will be made up of ads and spotlights for upcoming games. Historically, Geoff Keighley’s showcases and events have unfortunately not been a place to talk about the problems happening within the industry, like studio shutdowns and layoffs. New Blood Interactive, the publisher behind games like Super Galaxy Squadron, Duskand Ultrakillhas decided to take matters into its own hands and give some of the affected studios a memorial in the city while everyone in video games is paying attention with a giant, electronic billboard in downtown L.A.

The billboard includes the names of several studios that have been shut down in the last year, with the headline “Gone but not forgotten.” The list includes Arkane Austin, Roll7, Tango Gameworks, Volition Inc., and London Studio, as well as a general tribute to “everyone laid off, downsized & ‘made redundant.’” New Blood signs off the display with “We love you. We miss you. We hate money.”

Folks from around the industry are reacting warmly to the solidarity, including developers who worked at the studios mentioned. Some criticism was directed at New Blood for putting its name on the billboard as that could be read as an advertisement for its own games, but I’d argue that anonymous support isn’t what anyone needs right now. The video game industry is at a crisis point and visibly speaking out against corporate greed is a big part of how any of this gets better in the future.

The billboard uses the glitch aesthetic, which almost gives it the vibe of someone hacking into an ad space to cut through the usual promotional noise that goes on at these things to say something of substance. New Blood CEO and co-founder Dave Oshry tweeted that he is “always trying to find new and creative ways to waste money,” and said he hopes that those affected by the swath of layoffs in the past two years land on their feet in the aftermath.

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