Tech companies rise and fall quickly, in general. Especially during the dot com boom, when companies didn’t have to make money to survive. And there are plenty of predatory companies - especially among the big companies (i.e., if your company has a big name or is “cool”, you can often get away with paying less and treating your employees like dirt - they’ll accept it to get your company on their CV). The more hyped a company is, the less it will often pay (“people don’t work here for the money”).
Even among tech companies, though, game development companies have a terrible reputation for predatory and exploitative behavior. Not surprising, given that there’s an endless line of blinkered young men straight out of high school willing to accept any salary in order to get into game development. We’re literally talking people accepting 35-50% less in salary in order to be exploited relentlessly under poor working conditions and crunch.
And indies are not much better - not necessarily out of evil intentions, but simply because they have even less money and less management experience. I recall going to a talk with the young manager of a pretty hyped Norwegian startup some years ago, and hearing how the majority of the team were essentially living 10 to a single house, and working down at the local store to make ends meet while trying to finish their game.
When your entire business is predicated on people accepting less than half (in some cases), than they could earn doing pretty much anything else that their skillset qualifies them to, it’s hard to build a sustainable and stable business. Especially when you add the entertainment industry element to the equation, which makes it extremely hard to guarantee a steady revenue stream.