Sulake Plans New Direction for Habbo Hotel, Will Cut 60 Employees

October 30, 2012 -

After dealing with a child sex scandal earlier this year, Sulake - the owners of the social teen hangout Habbo Hotel - had to make some serious changes and win back the trust of the community. With that controversy mostly behind them (the company changed much of how it handles communications within the virtual world and added other features that protect its young members), the company says that it wants to make Habbo Hotel a place where third-party developers can launch their own game titles.

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Report: As Few as Five Developers Remain at Silicon Knights

October 30, 2012 -

An extensive report over at Kotaku claims that the offices of developer Silicon Knights has become a ghost town, with less than five employees remaining at the company. Citing multiple sources who worked at the company, the report claims that the studio was playing fast and loose with the funding of X-Men: Destiny coming from Activision, while secretly working on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo to pitch to publishers.

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WBIE Lays Off Some Staff at Turbine Games

October 25, 2012 -

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its Turbine Games studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The company laid off these employees even as it hired several veteran game developers including designer Ken Rolston (who was previously working for Big Huge Games- a company owned by 38 Studios.)

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Mass Layoffs and Possible Closures at Zynga

October 23, 2012 -

UPDATE: IGN has obtained a memo from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus that confirms the company has laid off 5% of its workforce.  In addition, the Boston studio will be closed and 13 of its older titles will be discontinued.

Read the full memo at IGN.  [Disclosure: I freelance for IGN]

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Microsoft Lays Off 'Less Than Ten Percent' of Staff at Lionhead

October 16, 2012 -

Microsoft has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its Lionhead studio, following the completion of the studios' latest game, the Kinect-enabled Fable: The Journey. While the company did not disclose the exact number of employees now out of a job, they suggested that it was a little under ten percent of the studio's work force. Lionhead is located in Guildford, England.

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Foundation 9 Closes ImaginEngine Studio

October 15, 2012 -

On Friday Foundation 9 Entertainment shut down its ImaginEngine game studio and laid off its entire staff - including studio head Randall Sanborn... An estimated 25 employees were also laid off, according to this GamesBeat report. The ImaginEngine layoffs and studio closure follows the layoff at another Foundation 9 studio - Backbone Entertainment.

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THQ to Close Melbourne, Australia Operations

October 10, 2012 -

THQ announced this morning that it plans to close its Melbourne, Australia office - also known as THQ Australia - within a few months. THQ has already dismissed staff from its Melbourne office, according to multiple reports. The company will instead distribute its products within the region through All Interactive Entertainment (AIE).

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EA Closes PopCap Office in Dublin, Ireland, Lays off Entire Staff

September 24, 2012 -

MCV has confirmed with parent company electronic Arts that the publisher has closed its Dublin, Ireland PopCap Games office and laid off its entire staff. The news comes on the heels of 50 layoffs last month at its PopCap Seattle office and an unspecified number of employees let go from its Irish operations.

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Sony Consolidates PR Operations, Trims Personnel

September 20, 2012 -

Sony Computer Entertainment has let a number of its employees in its marketing department go after doing a little shuffling of the personal deck, according to a Games Industry International report. After consolidating all of its public relations operations within the company, Sony decided that all future PR work would be handled by its Foster City headquarters.

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Funcom Denies Reports that a 'Majority' of its Oslo Studio Has Been Laid Off

September 14, 2012 -

MMO developer Funcom insists that it has laid off just fewer than 50 percent of its staff at its Oslo, Norway studio, despite reports that the number of layoffs is higher. The company revealed late last month that it would be focusing on games that had shorter development times built by smaller teams. The move was a reaction to poor performance of its latest MMORPG, The Secret World.

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NCsoft Closing Paragon Studios, Sunsetting City of Heroes

September 3, 2012 -

NCsoft has decided to shut down its Paragon Studio and the continued development of its long-running super-hero-based MMO City of Heroes. The company said in a blog post on August 31 that it would halt all future development on the title, putting its focus on "sunsetting the title by the year's end."

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EA Calls PopCap Games Layoffs Part of a Shift Away From Social

August 30, 2012 -

Speaking to Bloomberg, President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau commented on the layoffs at Peggle and Plants v. Zombies developer PopCap Games. Gibeau said that the main reason for the cuts was to make the studio more efficient and part of a move away from social game development.

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Report: Microsoft Recruiting Former OnLive Employees

August 27, 2012 -

Microsoft is looking to snap up some of OnLive's former employees, according to this report from GamesIndustry International. While the company was rumored to be interested in buying the cloud-based streaming game subscription service many moons ago, it looks like the Xbox 360 maker is picking the bones. The company is using EventBrite as its recruitment vehicle of choice, posting the following message:

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Report: THQ Lays Off Some 'Non-Development Staff'

August 22, 2012 -

While THQ's layoffs announced this week pale in comparison to OnLive's last week or reductions in staff at PopCap and the outright closure of Studio Liverpool, a layoff is a layoff and it doesn't matter if you are one of one-hundred or one of ten affected.

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Sony Closes Studio Liverpool

August 22, 2012 -

Joining PopCap and Funcom (and last week OnLive) workers on the unemployment lines this week are employees of Sony's Studio Liverpool. The studio responsible for the classic Wipeout series and Colony Wars, has been closed as part of Sony's plan to re-focus its resources and energy on other studios. The company said in a statement that SCE Worldwide Studio performs regular reviews of its internal studios. After its latest review of the Liverpool studio, it decided to shut it down.

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Funcom Confirms Layoffs

August 22, 2012 -

MMO maker Funcom is laying off some of its staff around the globe as part of previously announced "cost-adjustment initiatives." A Funcom representative confirmed ongoing layoffs in a statement to Polygon, but would not say just how many people might be out of work after the process is complete.

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Report: EA Quietly Laying Off PopCap Employees

August 21, 2012 -

According to this Develop report, EA has been quietly laying off employees at its PopCap studio in Seattle, Washington for the last several months. The information comes by way of VG247, citing an anonymous source close to the situation.

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Former OnLive Employee Describes 'Bizarre All-Hands Meeting'

August 17, 2012 -

A former OnLive employee (who spoke on the condition of anonymity) described to GamePolitics the last meeting the cloud-based subscription gaming service will ever hold. Earlier in the day this source confirmed a rumor that the company had laid off its entire staff and ceased to exist as a company.

First, our source describes the meeting where employees learned that they had all been let go:

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Confirmed: OnLive Closing Down, Employees Laid Off

August 17, 2012 -

According to this Polygon report, word on the street is that the cloud-based gaming service OnLive is closing down and its entire staff has been laid off today. The report is based on an anonymous email forwarded to the publication by a former employee. According to that e-mail, OnLive will no longer exist as a company as of today, but a new entity will be formed in its place.

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Google Slashes Twenty Percent of Motorola's Work Force

August 13, 2012 -

Google takes a break from suing other companies over phone designs using patents it acquired from Motorola to lay off 4,000 employees, or 20 percent of the company's work force. Google says that this reduction is part of a larger restructuring plan that will ultimately see the closure of one-third of Motorola’s 90 offices.

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Warner Bros. Confirms Layoffs at Seattle Studio

July 27, 2012 -

Warner Bros. has confirmed that some staff at its Seattle, Washington-based studio have been cut. The staff includes developers that were working on the upcoming Lord of the Rings Guardians of Middle-earth game, and Gotham City Impostors.

This is the third round of layoffs in the Pacific Northwestern studio system in the last several years. In early 2010, WBIE cut 25 employees from Surreal Software, Monolith Productions, and Snowblind Entertainment. In 2011 WBIE laid off 60 employees from WB Games Seattle.

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Microsoft Halts Development on Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia

July 26, 2012 -

Microsoft has confirmed in a statement this morning that it has discontinued Microsoft Flight and a children’s game for Kinect called Project Columbia. As a result the company has also laid off some staff at its Vancouver, Canada-based studio. How many employees have been given the axe we do not know as of this writing. Earlier rumors indicated that Microsoft had shut the studio down altogether, but those rumors turned out to be false.

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THQ Closes Arizona Quality Assurance Operation, Lays Off Staff

July 20, 2012 -

THQ continues to cut costs by closing down operations it believes it can live without. Unfortunately for the employees of the company's Quality Assurance operations in Phoenix, Arizona that means a round of layoffs. THQ has decided to consolidate its QA teams into its Montreal location and will be closing its Phoenix, Arizona-based operation in response. According to GII THQ will close the QA center and lay off 57 employees.

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Capcom Cuts Seven Percent of Staff from Vancouver Studio

July 19, 2012 -

Capcom has confirmed that it has laid off a number of employees at its Vancouver-based studio, though it did not disclose a specific head-count.

"Capcom Vancouver has let go seven percent of our employees as a result of unsuitable fit with the studio goals," said the company via Twitter.

Capcom went on to say that the studio is still looking to hire new talent - presumably talent that fits in with the studio's new direction - whatever that may be...

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GAME Australia's Remaining Stores to Close July 8

July 6, 2012 -

GAME Australia will officially shut down on July 8, with the remaining 15 stores closing across the country, according to administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Last month PwC announced that GAME Australia would be closing the remaining stores but did not offer an exact date at the time. The Administrator for GAME Australia also announced that the remaining assets of the video game retailer would be liquidated to pay down the company’s debt.

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Report: Activision Blizzard-Owned Studio Radical to Close

June 29, 2012 -

It looks like Prototype series makers Radical Entertainment may be closing. The Canadian-based studio has fallen victim to lackluster Prototype 2 sales, according to Activision officials.

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An Open Letter from a 38 Studios Spouse

June 13, 2012 -

Gamasutra has published an open letter from the spouse of a former 38 Studios developer in an article called '38 Studios Spouse' speaks out. In her letter the wife of the former 38 Studios employee details her and her family's struggles during and after the period of time when the studio could no longer pay its employees or cover the cost of their health insurance.

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Temporary Layoffs Hit Slant Six

June 12, 2012 -

Vancouver-based game development studio Slant Six has been forced to lay off some of its staff, according to Gamespot. Slant Six is best known for developing Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City and several Socom titles.

The company has laid off around a quarter of its staff, but a spokesperson tells GameSpot that these layoffs are temporary. The company employs around 96 people.

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Silicon Knights Cuts Staff Down to 'Core Group'

June 12, 2012 -

Canadian studio Silicon Knights has been forced to cut its staff down to a "core group" that scaling back that will focus "all efforts on future opportunities," according to studio founder Denis Dyack. Dyack did not say how many employees were laid off.

The developer behind Too Human said that the layoffs are a direct result of losing its legal battle with Epic last month. The studio sued Epic for allegedly not supporting its Unreal Engine and for spending all of its time on developing Gears of War. The company was asking for $58 million in damages.

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Report: THQ Closes San Diego Studio, Fires Staff

June 4, 2012 -

What started out as rumors on Twitter and in this Kotaku story has been confirmed: THQ has quietly shut down its San Diego studio and has let everyone that works there go today. Some have speculated that the company did this on the first day of E3 press conferences to avoid media scrutiny.

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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