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The game industry is Hotel California

When the Eagles wrote the song Hotel California in 1977, little did they realize how it would later apply to the silicon valley game industry. I provide a journey from innocence to experience through this lens.

Hotel California (where the vast majority of game companies are)


On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light (of finishing the next milestone)
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop (programming) for the night

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell (of the next title)
And I was thinking to myself
"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"

(when you first enter the industry)
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face

Plenty of room at the Hotel California (because it's a huge state with lots of companies)
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find (any game company or title you want) here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes benz (high industry/executive salaries)
She got a lot of pretty, pretty (networking contacts) she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget (their failed startups)

So I called up the Captain,
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit (originality/games that aren't just money making schemes) here since 1969"
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

(when you first enter the industry)
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face

(after being in the industry for years...)
Mirrors on the ceiling
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"

And in the master's chambers
They gathered for the feast (profits)
They stab it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast (failed launch/marketing)

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave"
 

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