What video game studios can teach us about creativity under capitalism

Collaboration can be creatively fruitful — unless it's overseen by suits interested in nothing but the bottom line

Half-Life 2
(Image credit: (Facebook.com/Half-Life2))

Recently, famed video game designer Ken Levine left his studio, Irrational Games, to strike out with a smaller team of about 15 people. He's taking those people to a unit inside the studio Take 2, where presumably he can focus more on smaller, more creatively fulfilling titles. On a related note, designer Tim Schafer funded his recent game Broken Age through Kickstarter instead of the studio system. This trend prompted game critic Ben Croshaw at Escapist Magazine to declare the whole idea of studios as overblown:

But it's misleading to talk in terms of studios "dying" or "going down." Because a company is, by definition, a collection of individuals, and it's not like the individuals are being lined up in the car park and shot by a Square Enix execution squad….

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