It's now one year since Rockstar Vienna closed its doors. So what has happened since?
As far as I know, everyone has found new jobs. Some have gone abroad, to Ubisoft, Ninja Theory, Climax, Traveller's Tales, Guerrilla Games, Electronic Arts or Sony London. Some have joined local companies such as Sproing Interactive, Rabcat, Xendex Entertainment and Avaloop. Some have started new companies, such as Team Vienna and Games That Matter. And some have left the industry.
Most people were shocked and sad a year ago, now most seem to have moved on (although there are still some grudges against Rockstar and Take 2). As I looked over pictures from last year, I was reminded of how close a group Rockstar Vienna was in many ways.
I didn't really talk much last year about what was happening to me. Here are some key points:
- There are worse times for being laid off than late spring.
- I basically spent most of last summer doing interviews. In retrospect I had 5 months off, but at the time it seemed I continuously had to decide to move to another country in about 3 weeks, or not. The constant interviewing (and waiting) was one reason why I didn't post much about what I was doing.
- I got some job offers I would've killed for only 1 or 2 years earlier, and I said no. Figuring out why I did so took a long time. (Basically, I have become very, very picky about employers, and I quite like living in Vienna.)
- I collected unemployment money for the first time in my life. I still feel a little bit ashamed, even though I paid contributions for 15 years.
And now I am growing used to the life of a free-lancer, i.e. meeting people to talk about working together, then waiting weeks for them to get back to me. (I've been on the other side of that, so I know how it happens.)
Recently, to fill the time, I started helping some friends of mine with a project of theirs. It's fun and has nothing to do with games. I am not officially part of their team (and I am still available for free-lance design and production work) but it could easily occupy all of my time. Will it? Time will tell.
Finally, some people asked me what traffic on this site looked like one year ago. Here it is:
A 2000% traffic increase, then back to normal after a day or so. So it goes.