An unnamed source from Kaos Studios, the New York City-based development studio working on Homefront, says that he or she is concerned that when the game is complete THQ will force personnel there to move to its freshly opened Montreal studio. This is the same studio that has been under a mandatory and extended crunch time to finish Homefront so it hits its release date. Stories of 6 day work weeks and 10 hour work days recently surfaced and were confirmed by THQ.
Kaos general manager David Votypka says that he has addressed some of these concerns in companywide meetings, but added that he would not rule out any scenarios after Homefront was complete.
"This is certainly a concern I am aware of at Kaos, and have taken questions from the staff about it on a number of occasions," Votypka told Develop.
"If [Homefront] does poorly will we be laid off? If we the game does well and we keep our jobs do we get to stay in New York?” the unnamed source asked Develop.
It’s a valid concern and with all the tax incentives and other government giveaways being offered in Montreal, running a studio from New York City doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Will THQ lay off the 200 employees at Kaos and offer them work in Montreal? It is not outside the realm of possibilities.
"With the opening of the THQ Montreal studio the goal has always been to find a way to utilize that studio in future Kaos projects," Votypka said. He added that the Montreal studio was "a lower cost center." Seeing as New York is not the most inexpensive location to develop games, utilizing Montreal one way or another is "understandable," Votypka added.
Votypka’s comments are probably not very comforting to anyone currently working in New York City.