Press Reset is a deep dive into the video game industry. Specifically, the book questions “why is it so hard to maintain job security in the video game industry?” I always assumed that it was the friction between the finance people trying to make money for their investors vs. the creatives wanting to make the best (read expensive and time-consuming) game possible. But the author, after interviewing scores of insiders, clearly explains why that answer is too simplistic.
Note: I’m a lifelong gamer so I appreciate creatives when I’m playing New Pokémon Snap obsessively every night. But I’m also a Certified Public Accountant. I flipped between both internal perspectives while reading this book. Both sides have a valid point to make. Obviously, compromise is the correct path. Some of the stories included here show a complete failure to meet in the middle. Therefore, this book would be a good choice for new managers of any company that employs creatives—not just game companies.
Press Reset seems targeted to a small group of readers—employees, investors, and managers of video game companies. However, that is short-sighted. I enjoyed reliving my youth by looking back at old favorite games. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of some of my favorite games was fun! As I stated above, any manager can quickly see what not to do with (or to) staff. In addition, if you are writing about game designers in fiction, this is invaluable background research. I’m thinking of the Meg Landslow or the Silicon Valley cozy mystery series, but I know there are more.
Overall, I enjoyed seeing both the good and bad behind the gaming curtain. Press Reset is an entertaining look at how difficult it is to create gaming content. 4 stars!
Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.