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Adams didn't mince words, saying the barrage of layoffs and canned projects were done by "greedy people trying to make some venture capital thing work out."

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 20, 2024

1 Min Read
Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams in an interview with NoClip.
Image via NoClip.

At a Glance

  • The Dwarf Fortress co-creator was very (and somewhat vulgarly) clear on how he feels about executives behind studio layoffs.

The games industry has had countless layoffs and cancelled projects since 2023, and Tarn Adams is not happy about it.

At this year's GDC (spotted by PCGamer), the Dwarf Fortress designer was frank in laying the blame for these events at the hands of executives, calling them "bad people."

"These decisions, they don't sound practical," he continued. "They sound like they're driven by greedy, greedy people trying to make some kind of venture capital thing work out."

This week has seen "only" three reported layoffs this far (over at IGN), but 2024 has been devastating. In March alone, several studios have either cut most of their staff or close down entirely.

To Adams, executives have made a "stench of rot" that allows for staff cuts to be incited by "funding structures and bad incentives and stupidity."

Bottom lines and golden parachutes

"[Executives] shouldn't fire because their company will fall apart," he continued. "But I guess that maybe helps someone's bottom line somewhere or gets the right air inside the right golden parachute."

Dwarf Fortress' success after its Steam and itch.io release in 2022 doesn't appear to have changed Adams. He briefly mused about if future business calls would make him more empathetic to what executives go through.

His response? "No, I don't fucking think so. They can all eat shit."

Game Developer and GDC are sibling organizations under Informa Tech.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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