Jason Schreier is a journalist and author who primarily covers the video game industry. Following a few years of freelance work after graduation, he worked as a news reporter for Kotaku from 2011 to 2020 and was recognized for several investigative stories particularly on the crunch culture within the industry. In April 2020, he left Kotaku and joined Bloomberg News within its Technology focus team, continuing his focus on the video game industry.
Jason Schreier was born on May 10, 1987, to Iris and Elliot Schreier. He graduated from New York University.
Schreier initially worked on covering local news stories, but quickly realized that run-of-the-mill news did not hold his interest. He started to go into freelance writing across multiple works, including Wired from 2010 to 2012, covering video games and related technology. Other freelance works included a weekly column at Joystiq on Japanese role-playing games, and works published at Kill Screen, Edge, Eurogamer, G4TV, GamesRadar, and Paste among others.
Around 2011, Schreier was contacted by Stephen Totilo, the current editor-in-chief for the website Kotaku, offering him a position as a full-time news reporter. Kotaku had been founded in 2004 as the video game front under Gawker Media, and while it initially struggled, by 2011 has become a highly regarded site for video game news. Schreier accepted the position, which he started around the same time. He was eventually promoted to news editor for the site prior to his departure. He also continued to write freelance for other works, including for The New York Times. Besides standard reporting on video game news, Schreier gained an early penchant at Kotaku for getting stories from developers about their inside processes for various titles. From these articles, Schreier soon found common stories of excessive use of "crunch time" by some developers, the use of excessive overtime over multiple weeks and months to make sure a video game was completed by a target date. While crunch time had been identified before in larger firms from other sources, such as at Rockstar Games, Schreier's reporting identified crunch also tended to persist at smaller studios. Besides the articles he wrote on this for Kotaku, he also complied such stories into his 2017 book Blood, Sweat, And Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made that delved into the efforts game developers would put into their craft. In addition to working conditions, Schreier was known to gain inside stories on the development histories of troubled or canceled video games, typically though reporting from inside people which he leaves anonymous in his articles to protect his sources. Such stories include the stumbling blocks that Bungie had to overcome for Destiny, for the planned Star Wars game Project Ragtag at Visceral Games that eventually led to the studio's closure, and the difficulties behind Electronic Arts's and BioWare's Anthem. Some of Schreier's deep inside coverage of games stirred up reactions from the video game community. His stories related to games from publisher Bethesda Softworks, such his 2013 story on the cancellation of Prey 2 that relayed on internal communications he had been provided, is believed to have led to Bethesda to "blacklist" Kotaku, denying the site any pre-release copies of their games or interviews at trade events since 2015. Schreier as well as Hello Games founder Sean Murray received death threats after Schreier reported on inside news that the highly anticipated No Man's Sky from Hello Games would be delayed by a few months. As a result of the Bollea v. Gawker lawsuit, the Gawker Network including Kotaku underwent a series of ownership changes after 2016, eventually falling under the G/O Media family in 2019. The new G/O management was more demanding of what content the sites carried, which resulted in a major incident at Deadspin, the network's sports-oriented site, in October 2019 leading to the firing of its editor in chief and subsequent quitting of most of the remaining editorial staff. This propagated across the other former Gawker sites, including Kotaku. After other writers had left, Schreier opted to leave the site in April 2020, specifically identifying issues with G/O Media management and the October 2019 Deadspin issue as his reasons for leaving. Schreier said of his reason for departure, "I’ve been through a lot of cataclysmic shifts because it always felt like, through it all, we were guided by people who always cared about journalism, and unfortunately, I'm not sure that’s the case anymore."
At ''Bloomberg News''
Shortly after leaving Kotaku, Schreier announced he had accepted a position at Bloomberg News within the Technology coverage area in April 2020. Within the scope of his job, he still plans to focus on the video game industry and continue his style of deep inside coverage of game development.
Schreier lives in the New York City area. In addition to starting at Bloomberg, he is developing a podcast named Triple Click with his former counterparts at Kotaku Kirk Hamilton and Maddy Myers, which will be part of the Maximum Fun network. Schreier is Jewish. In June 2018, he married Amanda Coleman, a lawyer. In September 2019, he became a father to one daughter.