Tales from The Trenches Archive

Submit your own Tale from The Trenches

The Age of Fear

I work for a low-profile, West Coast game studio that has been around for over a decade. I wasn’t there when it started, but my time served there has been pretty significant. While the place has many infamous stories, the topic I bring to you today is about how management had a habit of becoming irrationally paranoid of the individuals they let go. Here’s my recollection of their actual concerns (and these are all individual incidents mind you).

Fear that said ex-employee would somehow:
- Shoot up the office
- Fight them in the parking lot
- Shoot up the office (again)
- Move explosives into the basement
- Consume a child (wtf?)
- Burn the studio down
- Sabotage the servers
- Crash a birthday party and make a scene
- Recruit ex-co-workers when they got better jobs elsewhere (OK, that did happen) :)

It should also be mentioned that the ones they canned made no threats or showed signs of aggression upon their termination; each individual just went off to greener pastures, some in completely non-game fields. So there you have it, 10+ years in business with zero incidents. Makes you wonder if management felt guilty, perhaps that all those layoffs were unjust?