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Redundancy round-up

By on February 4, 2010

I’ve been very slow at reporting on job losses in the games industry for a while. That’s what happens when you get crazy busy working for clients, while also working on a very exciting secret project for the game development scene. (Well, I think it’s exciting).

So, as a bit of a downer, here are the job losses I’ve missed in the first month of 2010 (and a few that were earlier).

THQ

February 3rd, 2010

According to GamaSutra, “Publisher THQ announced it would be refocusing its Juice Games and Rainbow Studios on digital distribution — and cutting 60 jobs as part of the strategy.”

Deep Silver Vienna

February 1st, 2010

Deep Silver has closed its Vienna studio with the loss of 20 jobs. The company was formed by Rockstar Vienna veterans Niki Laber and Hannes Seifert as Games That Matter in 2007.

Deep Silver itself is a subsidiary of Koch Media.

Sony Liverpool

January 29th, 2010

SCEE has announced that the Liverpool studio is being restructured as part of a “project prioritisation”. Gamesindustry.biz says that the company will seek to relocate staff but “some redundancies may be necessary”. Develop reports one insider saying that “around half us may be gone”.

DR Studios

 January 28th, 2010

DR Studios has told GamesIndustry.biz that it has made a handful of redundancies as it restructures it serious games and development teams. Four staff have been laid off, with over 30 team members remaining.

Red 5 Games

January 26th, 2010

A deeply undignified spat between EA and Benchmark Capital has obscured the situation at Red 5 Games (more about that in another post).

GamaSutra quotes “a reliable source close to the company” saying that the company underwent a round of layoffs. It estimated that 30 people were made redundant, and reported that the company had 100 staff in December 2008.

Kotaku claims the company now has only 30 staff, although it notes that Red 5 closed its Shanghai office last year.

Crispy Gamer

January 21st, 2010

Following the recent acquisition of games social network GamerDNA, Crispy Gamer appears to have imploded.

The entire editorial staff, consisting of nine people, have been laid off with immediate effect. CEO Chris Heldman resigned in protest at the decision.

Crispy Gamer raised $8.25 million from Constellation Ventures with a strategy of competing with the likes of IGN and Gamespot by refusing to run ads for games.

Kuju

January 13th, 2010

Kuju has announced the closure of its development studio in Manila.

Nostromo

January 5th, 2010

Czech Java games developer Nostromo has entered administration, according to MobileGamesBlog. The company has been making mobile games since 2002.

Harmonix

December 11th, 2009

Harmonix has axed 10% of its staff, or 39 people, in a round of redundancies that have mainly affected the QA team.

Aspyr Media

December 9th, 2009

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Mac specialists Aspyr Media has laid off as much as 50% of its staff in December 2009.


Added to the Job Loss Tracker.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com