Impressions of the book “Press Reset as the Game Industry Ruins Careers and Gives Second Chances Review

This is the sequel of the well-known game-based book “Blood Sweat and Pixels,” whose author, the famous journalist Jason Schrier, concentrates his attention on not games but rather on those who create these games and the causes behind them their “turnover” in the gaming industry.

I was fortunate enough to read the digital Russian-language edition of Press Reset; the physical version will be available in Russia on September 28th, 2021. I will tell you what the issue is going with that translation around, which subject matter was in the crosshairs of journalists, and why Schreier is now able to be described as an author.


  • 1. Who Is Jason Schrier and Why gamers are so fond of him
  • 2. The challenges of translating
  • 3. What’s the book about?
  • 4 What were you impressed with and dislike?
  • 5 Bottom line

What is Jason Schrier, and why do gamers love him

But first, a little digression. Jason Schreyer is a detective in the gaming world. The journalist, who has been a regular contributor to the past nine years to Kotaku for nine years, Kotaku blog, utilizes his connections to release often major investigative stories on how the game industry operates. exists in gaming, revealing the unpleasant, “downside” sides of game development. These include gruelling crunches (recycling) and mass layoffs, charming cheating during trade shows such as E3 technological issues, and many other issues.

Jason Schreyer

His work is vital at this moment, when AAA projects that are being viewed to be played by players around the world, but also by the general public, turn completely different from how they were shown to the public and aggravated by the innumerable amount of bugs that studios have been out of for years. It isn’t necessary to look too far to see examples of Fallout the 76th, Anthem, No Man’s Sky, Warcraft 3: Reforged, Cyberpunk 2077. Even the most novice gamers can see from these games that things aren’t always perfect in the gaming world.

Schreyer writes about complex subjects clearly and conveys the difficulty of his subject to those that aren’t part of the industry. There’s no shortage of industry terms (crunch or asset); however, the author takes the words and phrases to heart. The result was the first published book, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, which is an unconnected collection of tales about creating a specific game. The third book, “Press Reset,” tells the fates of those who make our entertainment.

The challenges of translating

A few words about the translation were the first to be published and proved to be disgusting at best, but not the worst.

The Blood, Sweat, and Pixels were rewritten by people who knew nothing about gaming which sparked the unjustified anger of readers. However, everything turned out fine at the end of the day – the publisher hired an editor (Alexandra “Alfina” Golubeva). The book was published in two editions, and everyone was pleased.

The translation is in good order now. I felt no discomfort reading. All the terms and footnotes are included, and the reader doesn’t wander around looking for “wild timenot” or “head strap.” In contrast, the book isn’t as professional in its terms-the same crunch happens more than a dozen times as in the earlier book.

What’s the story’s theme?

As with the previous installment, “Press Reset” belongs to the genre of non-fictionor, in layman’s terms, nonfiction prose. It’s characterized by constructing a narrative around real-life happenings. If you’ve read Schreier’s research in the article I included in the above post, it’s easy to imagine his work consisting of interviews with firsthand sources.

The majority of the game employees in the industry (former and present) whom he meets are keen to discuss the hidden side of their jobs. It’s a Herculean job – writing the book takes many years.

Compared to “Blood sweat and Pixels,” one can see Jason’s progress as an author. While the first book contained ten stories unrelated to each other, which I jumped at the first opportunity to the next one, his subsequent book was more coherentand narrative. Chapter titles are no longer games titles; they contain a deeper meaning that readers learn while reading.

As I’ve mentioned, the volume is all about the people who make up the “flow” within gaming. In the opening section, “The Wanderer,” we get to know the tale of Warren Spector, who created the famous Deus Ex and was involved in creating System Shock, Thief: The Dark Project Ultima Underworld. We look at a small portion of the life of this genius and how he’s compelled to travel from studio to studio and how he reluctantly signs an agreement with Disney on its own. However, even with “Mouse House,” it’s difficult for him to secure stability in his work.

Epic Mickey – detailed in chapter one

The storyline from the first chapter continues to the second chapter, where we find out the background of the famous BioShock series, which was an inspiration from the work by Warren Spector. The third chapter is about a group of people from the Irrational group, which broke up after the launch of Bioshock Infinite (we also find out the reasons for this within the novel) and decided to take a shot with indie development.

Schreier expertly guides us through the related storylines and provides interesting information about the games that are running simultaneously. Additionally, throughout the beginning, you’ll be able to examine the background of the beginning of the immersive sim, which Warren Spector essentially founded. It’s fantastic to see familiar names in the book and how one thing influences the other.

Did you realize that Bioshock Infinite was the final game for the Irrational Games studio?

The author demonstrates by illustrating real life examples that working in the gaming industry is full of challenges and unexpected events. It is not a “you’re guilty of a crime, then you’re dismissed” logic. For instance, Irrational was fired shortly after the BioShock Infinite release, while 38 Studios and Visceral were taken to the grave by their most senior managers.

Designers, developers, and others on the team are required by their employers to “sit in suitcases” For instance, one employee said to Schreier that he attempts to store a minimum amount of personal belongings at his desk to ensure that they will fit in a suitcase. He also has a well-established procedure if the studio has been shut down (or closed due to a dispersion of resources, or in simpler terms, reduction).

Drake Hollow is a game created by the original developers of Bioshock Infinite

The reason these changes are so grueling is that they are against employees’ wishes. If you’re bored with your colleagues or working conditions don’t appear to be satisfactory at your current job, you are free to quit and look for a new job in your area. In the gaming industry, the employees are required to abruptly say goodbye to their colleagues, shift from one state to the next, deal with gruelling job advertisements, and then get acquainted with a brand new work environment and a new group. One of the characters in the book refers to this as”the “AAA Development squirrel wheel” because it can to become monotonous.

What should gamers who have devoted their life to gaming, and confronted with such injustice? You can either reset the game (Press Reset), or quit the game. By reboot, Schrier isn’t just about moving between studios, but also the next and then deciding to go independent development by indie companies as one of the most effective options for committed.

The shooter who no one wanted to see – The Bureau: declassified XCOM

Jason offers his thoughts on ways to tackle this issue. One of his suggestions is unionization, however the pandemic which began in the year of his writing has opened up a different avenue — remote development. Game studios today outsourcing work like creating models and other assets however the author believes one example is that you could expand and hire outside experts to create a complete combat system. The director of development will be the one to create the entire system The key players work at their homes and don’t sit on their suitcases and in the event of failure, they will seek out other customers.

The author introduces us to this idea as a professional writer in the final chapter which is focused on the comparatively unknown studio Disbelief. Actually, this chapter is the conclusion of the entire story. The employees of the company are applying the segmented development approach and Schrier has decided that this is the way to go.

What I liked and did not like

The most important thing I noted for myself is the fact that “Press Reset” is a fully-fledged work that is not a compilation of stories. I appreciated that the author concentrates on the developers of the game and their personal stories however, also uncovers the origins of a genre as well as provide interesting information about the games as they are.

Jason is looking to provide his unique solution to a challenge and presents it the conclusion of an extensive history that he has written about himself. Some tales are heartbreaking such as the one concerning the demise in the operation of 38 Studios. It’s impossible to believe.

After reading this article, readers will ask several questions that include “why did this take place?” It’s unlikely to be astonished by the reason why the creator to Deus Ex decided to make the Mickey Mouse game, and why the key studio characters are departing and the well-loved series is going to the ground.

I wasn’t a fan of the fact the fact that Schrier aimed only on U.S. studios. The book is more about financial mismanagement and changes, which might turn off a few of readers.


I am not sure if the game will be able to surpass its predecessor and be a trendy and well-known nonfiction book within the gaming industry that is Russian-speaking However, there are less well-known titles as well as the tales are dedicated to more intricate issues than crunches.

However, this time Schreier did not only present the stories in a collection and a book that gives a thorough overview of what happens behind the scenes. This is a monumental effort that is accompanied by the courage of the writer himself is hard not to admire.

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