The games industry has grown since its small beginnings around the 70's. Its now a multi-billion pound industry, with many developers based all over the globe. The growth of the game industry, bar the small crash of 1983, has generally been steady. However in recent times things have started to looks unsightly, with the recent recession many games companies have gone bust, or been dropped by their publishers, and it seems that only the large firms have high hopes of scoring profits as we all stop spending money on luxuries.
For example, the games company 'Free Radical Design', once the proud developers of the 'Time Splitters' series of games, have found the economical shit storm too much, and have had to pack it in. A sad end to an interesting company. And this story isn't unique, its happening to many more, Take 'Pivotal games' for example. Pivotal Games, based in bath, UK have also had to cut jobs, and seek a higher power. In this example, the once privately owned Pivotal, are now part of the Eidos group, seeking financial security.
The games industry is still a massively high revenue industry, but of late it seems that even the big guys are under threat. The main challenge of the industry, is to see through this phase. When the recession is over, and people start spending again, the games industry will be able to take full advantage of the inevitable developments in hardware, and see an even bigger popularity and growth.
For employees, the games industry is a mixed place. I have been lucky enough to speak to a few people in the industry. People such as Ben mathis, Marcel Playster. Both are 3D Artists and both have varying opinions on their industry. Ben Mathis for example is a great fan of the games industry, and was adamant it was the most fun place to work. Marcel on the other hand, dislikes the pressures of working as an artist.
After questioning these people, it is evident that the company that you work for has a lot to do with your enjoyment of the industry. Some companies are more relaxed than others, some are very large and lack the personality of smaller firms, smaller firms are sometimes very spartan and don't have ample resources. Depending on your personal opinions, one firm will appeal more than another.
The pressure of the recent recession however affects the pressures faced as an employee, with no slack being allowed by the publisher, the industry must essentially get more done in smaller time. This can cause discomfort to employees.