I have been scanning some of my old magazines into PDF before they fall apart and are lost forever. I noticed this photograph from a very old issue of Strategy and Tactics magazine, dating way back.
The pictures date back to the middle or late 1970s and represents the staff of the SPI Game company, perhaps the most prolific and successful company publishing wargames during the previous golden age. This was just one picture in a series of pictures in this issue that broke out the entire company out by department.. there was an R&D department, an art department, a shipping and production department, and staff designer principles. I’m probably getting that part wrong, but imagine all those people employed FULL TIME on producing wargames, as compared to the staff of what most people would consider the most successful company of the second golden age, GMT games. I don’t have a similar photo from them handy, but here’s a statement from their website:
Thanks from: Andy, Gene, Mark, Rodger, Tony, Letitia, Elizabeth, Sherry, Melissa, Laura, and Cha, GMT Games Principals, Office and Warehouse Managers, & Staff
That’s less than half of the SPI staff from the old days, not including part timers and warehouse staff (not listed). Does that mean the earlier jobs were superfluous or redundant? By no means. It means publishing has become less labor intensive for one thing– more computerized and streamlined, and that there are not many wargame companies than can afford the luxury of full time in-house game designers and developers, for another. I have been enjoying the look down memory lane I’ve been experiencing as I archive my old paper onto a Terrabyte drive. It seems like a fitting exercise for me… like bridging the gap between eras.