If you could work for any developer, who would you pick?

By Brenna Hillier
20 August 2014 06:07 GMT

Developers all want to go work for Valve, apparently. How about you?


Valve came out top of the polls in a questionnaire asking developers where they’d most like to work.

The info was included as part of the results of the International Game Developers Association’s annual Developer Satisfaction Survey. MCV published the top ten list:

  1. Valve
  2. My own company
  3. Activision Blizzard
  4. BioWare
  5. Ubisoft
  6. Current employer
  7. Nintendo
  8. Naughty Dog
  9. Double Fine
  10. Bethesda Game Studios

Valve’s inclusion isn’t much of a surprise. The company makes squillions of dollars and rarely issues lay-offs, which is hugely important in an industry where job security is low, but also famously uses a flat management structure where motivated individuals are frequently left to their own devices. It doesn’t suit everyone, but those who like it flourish.

“My own company” is a great second place. Digital distribution and the indie revolution (sorry, boss) mean developers don’t have to slave away their whole life on other people’s visions – especially if those visions have been sanitised and watered down by committees or focus testing. Instead, they can go do their own thing, which is significantly more creatively satisfying.

You know who did that recently? Battlefield and Payday veteran David Goldfarb – whom we all love, by the way.

To be honest, I’m a bit shocked that Activision Blizzard came in third. I’d love to hear from developers as to why. As armchair generals we’re used to thinking of Activision Blizzard as a bit soulless, a Call of Duty content pump which closes down teams willy-nilly.

But it’s now independent of former corporate overlord Vivendi thanks to a self buy-out, which means Kotick is largely calling the shots – and unlike disinterested investors, he has invested so heavily that he’s committed to ensuring the long term success of gaming, rather than just making quick money. (If you won’t credit him with anything else, agree that Kotick probably wants to make sustained, long-term money.)

Plus, Acti Blizz it’s “too big to fail” (hem hem), which is comforting, and you have a good chance of getting a sweet bonus if you work on huge franchises. Blizzard is supposed to have a great corporate culture, too.

Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting list both for its inclusions and its exclusions. Discuss!

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