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Summary

From the best-selling author of Blood, Sweat, and Pixels comes the next definitive, behind-the-scenes account of the video game industry: how some of the past decade's most renowned studios fell apart - and the stories, both triumphant and tragic, of what happened next.

Jason Schreier's groundbreaking reporting has earned him a place among the preeminent investigative journalists covering the world of video games. In his eagerly anticipated, deeply researched new book, Schreier trains his investigative eye on the volatility of the video game industry and the resilience of the people who work in it. 

The business of videogames is both a prestige industry and an opaque one. Based on dozens of first-hand interviews that cover the development of landmark games - Bioshock Infinite, Epic Mickey, Dead Space, and more - on to the shocking closures of the studios that made them, Press Reset tells the stories of how real people are affected by game studio shutdowns, and how they recover, move on, or escape the industry entirely. 

Schreier's insider interviews cover hostile takeovers, abusive bosses, corporate drama, bounced checks, and that one time the Boston Red Sox's Curt Schilling decided he was going to lead a game studio that would take out World of Warcraft. Along the way, he asks pressing questions about why, when the video game industry is more successful than ever, it's become so hard to make a stable living making video games - and whether the business of making games can change before it's too late.

©2021 Jason Schreier (P)2021 Grand Central Publishing

Critic reviews

“Schreier covers the notoriously secretive gaming industry [and] knows it well.” (GQ)  

“Jason Schreier is a huge fan of video games, and his enthusiasm is contagious.” (Booklist)

“My only complaint about Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is that there wasn't more to read.” (Forbes

What listeners say about Press Reset

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Another good and interesting read!

Was way more interesting and exciting than I thought it would be, almost on par with the first book! Worst thing is the quality of the audio, which would sometimes sound like the guy was talking through a walkie talkie o_O

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Gg's again Jason

Love both the recent releases by the author, highly recommended to gamers and games industry folk.

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Good book, solid narration; variable audio quality

A bunch of interesting tales of a turbulent industry. Makes you only more grateful of what incredible games some hard-working people manage to create for us to enjoy, despite everything.

NOTE: For some reason, every so often there will be a single paragraph that sounds like it was recorded inside of a tin can. It was always temporary (and thus, I found, manageable) but if that's something that will bother you too much then just bear in mind.

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good insight into the AAA games industry

good investigative journalism. a lot of history and backgrounds to a lot of games we know and love. also leaves food for thought.

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Essential reading for anyone looking at working in games

Book 21/21 for 2021.

Finished the 21st book for 2021 reading challenge, and it was a doozy. After reading Blood, Sweat and Pixels earlier this year I was initially excited to read the follow up. In reading some of the samples available it felt like more of the same so I decided to skip it for the time being - that was a mistake!

Press Reset is more an industrial work, following the people who worked at studios and how they’ve dealt with the challenges of working in the industry, with the highest highs and lowest lows, as opposed to focusing on the games themselves as Blood Sweat and Pixels did.

There are triumphant stories of success in this book, and some very sad stories of people leaving the industry - there is for the most part - a chronological thread leading from the first story to the final. Without giving much away - there was plenty of fallout in the aftermath of Bioshock Infinite’s release and Irrational’s subsequent shut down, as about 70% of the books stories relate to it.

I found the narration vibrant and told the story well - sometimes the voices for different people in the stories blended together somewhat, but overall I really liked the audio production and got through the book very quickly.

I do have some minor gripes, the final chapters deal with how the problems endemic to the industry could be solved including decentralisation of companies, streamlined creative teams, outsourcing devs, unionisation etc which I found especially fascinating.

However, this was only one chapter out of 10 - and I feel like it was a bit rushed - Schreier is on record in the book and online as being a strong proponent of game dev unions which is absolutely fine, but I felt as a result the book didn’t engage with that topic on both sides as deeply as I’d have liked. I’d love to see potential studies into this, or surveys etc etc - there is an element of this in the book - but it felt a bit one sided and shallow for my liking.

Another fanboy complaint which doesn’t impact anything, but Schreier has now twice used Super Plumber Adventure as an example in his books, where is the love for Mr Blue Needlemouse, my boy Sonic? Come on Jason, represent!

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Eye opening for a newbie

Great book. As an aspiring designer, to learn so much about the production and publishing proccess of a project is invaluable aswell as the gruesome realities of the industry's business angle .

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super interesting and super-er scary

this has been my walk to work for the last few weeks , I laughed and I shuddered. Jason words and that narration = gold

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Ist's okay

The stories itself are ok. But it's kinda dissapointing that almost every chapter/story is connected to Irrational Games. I would have loved to hear about totally different studios. Furthermore there are to many characters in each chapter. I kinda lost track of what was going on when the main character or studio changed for the third time during a chapter.

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Educational

Worth a listen to hear the human cost of the game industry and its horrors.

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Another great book about the games industry

Jason Schreier's first book 'Blood, Sweat, and Pixels' was excellent, it told the story of the development of a number of successful games. This new book pivots slightly and concentrates on the people and the studios directly, concentrating on a number of developers who bob and weave around the industry due to the unstable nature of game development. You really get a feel for how fragile the industry is and how close the house of cards is to falling over. it is expertly told by Jason who is sympathetic and draws out fascinating insights from all involved, and narrated by Ray Chase who provides excellent texture, colour and emotion to the words. Recommended for anyone who has a passing interest in the industry behind the games.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-21

Audio Quality is Inconsistent

Sounds like random portions had to be recorded by the narrator from home with whatever he had available. These portions are extremely short. maybe 2 words here. Maybe 3 sentences there. Very short but very common, randomly spread out throughout the book. These short snippets sound compressed, similar to the sound one may have on a Nintendo DS. I switched frequently from 3 different Bluetooth devices and my Galaxy Note 10+'s built in speakers. These brief moments of poorer audio quality would occur across all four of my means of playback, suggesting to me that it was a problem on the recording end and not my playback method.

Another equally entertaining and informative book about the game industry. It does into fairly detailed examples\stories of the industry's instability that all nicely connect or overlap as if it was the MCU.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Zack b.
  • 20-05-21

Wonderful look into the unstable world of game dev

It was bitter sweet to hear the accounts of people chewed up and spit out by the industry

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  • Ian Rowsby
  • 10-10-21

Interesting but too forced left wing opinions

The book is well read and interesting but I could do without all the liberal views. Why did the author feel the need to crowbar anti Trump comments into this book? Stick to the story please!

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  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • 14-09-21

Video games industry enthusiasts should definitely pick this one up

Jason Schreier is one of the most respected and trusted journalist covering The world of video games. If you’re a fan of this industry you can do yourself a favor and pick up this riveting audiobook.
I absolutely love the fact that the two worlds that I love the most collided into this audio production. I am really passionate about video games and audiobooks so I am thrilled to have learned so many things from this book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-05-21

Absolutely a must listen to anyone remotely interested in the games industry

Jason Schreier does it again! With a book that takes a peek behind the curtain of the development of our favorite games and experiences he really paints a picture and shows you the good the bad and the downright ugly of the games industry.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth Jacobsen
  • 23-05-21

Must Read/Listen for Gamers

Extremely evocative storytelling with a wide variety of fascinating, yet sad, stories. Ultimately, it does end on a hopeful note, with the desire for work from home to become a better standard.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Peter Ballester
  • 25-05-21

A Strong Case for Unionization in Game Development

Just a fantastic listen from start to end about game development and its unspoken human cost. It was a roller coaster learning more about the development toll of major releases, both the critically acclaimed, the universally trashed, and the inbetweens, and how those game devs moved on.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Denis
  • 20-05-21

Very average....

I think this book had little interesting information, just a few stories and nothing else. Sold purely on Jason being a relatively famous journalist - I enjoyed his previous book way better. No solid data, no analysis, no conclusions, just bunch of stories together in one book.

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  • Jack Thomas Dean
  • 26-08-21

Great Insight

Great insight into the industry and how it needs to change. I hope people who make larger decisions about how the video game industry works read this and make changes.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Felipe Aguilera
  • 23-05-21

Tragic adventures of the videogame studios

Good sequel to blood sweat and pixels. Focused in the Rise and fall of Studios instead of specific videogames, keeps beign interesting.

5 people found this helpful