At least 12 employees have been laid off at NASCAR video game series and free-to-play online PC racing game Auto Club Revolution makers Eutechnyx, according to a Eurogamer report. Eutechnyx CEO Darren Jobling confirmed the news with Eurogamer and briefly explained the reason for the small reduction in staff.
Irrational Games founder and Bioshock creator Ken Levine announced via the Irrational Games web site that the studio would be shutting down and laying off all but 15 people. The studio, which was bought out by 2K Games (Take-Two) in January of 2006, will shut down after it finishes up work on the BioShock Infinite downloadable content, the second part of Burial at Sea. The DLC is set for release next month.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has confirmed with Polygon that it has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at Turbine Entertainment. Turbine, which was purchased by Warner Bros. in 2010, operates a number of MMOGs including Lord of the Rings Online, D&D Online and the DC Universe-themed MOBA Infinite Crisis.
Sony's games division (which covers PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, and PlayStation Network) recorded sales and operating revenue of 441.8 billion yen (or $4.35 billion USD) for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013. That's a 64.6 percent year-on-year increase thanks to the launch of the PlayStation 4 in major markets around the world last November.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) is reporting that Disney Interactive is getting ready to lay off several hundred employees from its global workforce. The layoffs are expected to begin shortly after the company releases its latest quarterly results - which will happen tomorrow. Currently the company employs about 3,000 people across various studios.
The Guildford, Surrey (UK) offices of Ghost Games has been hit with layoffs, according Polygon. According to the report, EA told contractors for the Need for Speed Rivals developer that they were no longer needed and full-time staffers that they could either take a layoff with some compensation or help out at Visceral. Rumor has it that Visceral is working on a police-themed Battlefield title code-named Havana.
Zynga has invested $527 million in a buyout of Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing maker - UK-based mobile game maker NaturalMotion - even as it lays off one in seven of its employees. The company made the announcement during the release its most recent earning report. The NaturalMotion buyout is the biggest acquisition by Zynga to date, beating out its $200 million purchase of Draw Something maker OMGPOP in 2012. And the company still has roughly $1.2 billion in cash built up from its Farmville and Cityville days.
Eurogamer has confirmed with 2K Games that the headquarters of 2K Czech in Prague (where Mafia 3 was rumored to be in development) has been closed and some of the staff has been moved to its offices in Brno. Some staff were laid off as well.
Dutch game studio Two Tribes has hit the reset button on the studio, saying that it will - at the very least temporarily - close its doors and lay off all of its staff. The studio, which is best known for creating the Toki Tori series of games, said that it failed due to a switch from making work-to-hire games to building and developing its own intellectual properties.
Eve Online Maker CCP Games announced that it has laid off 15 employees that were part of the World of Darkness development team. World of Darkness is an MMO based on the tabletop roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade, from White Wolf. It was first announced in November 2006 and has yet to be released.
Rock Band and Dance Central developer Harmonix has confirmed that it has laid off a number of its staff, though the company says that the number of employees let go is a small number.
"We can confirm that a small number of Harmonix employees were let go today," a Harmonix representative told GameSpot. "This decision was made due to shifting staffing priorities for Harmonix's multiple future projects."
Gamasutra has the exclusive scoop on the Stardock Staffing Company, a new unit put together by Galactic Civilizations developer Stardock. Thaw company announced earlier this year that it had put together a multi-million dollar fund called the Stardock Investment Fund, with the goal of using it to invest in "promising, small companies."
Electronic Arts announced this week that it has canceled Command & Conquer, the free-to-play reimagining of the popular real-time strategy game. In a blog post developer Victory Games announced that fan reaction to the alpha of the game is what put the final nail in the coffin for the project:
Hamburg, Germany-based studio Fishlabs Entertainment announced a large-scale restructuring at the company, including major layoffs, but the company insisted that it would not be dissolved. In July the studio went into "self-administration" in an effort to cut operating costs. As part of this process the company has laid off 25 employees from multiple departments including marketing, art and programming.
According to several published reports - including one over at CVG, Capcom will slash nearly half of its employees in Europe as part of a continental-wide restructuring plan.
GamesBeat has confirmed with Sega of America that it has laid off some of its staff, though the company would not give any indication of just how many employees had been affected.
Firefall developer Red 5 Studios has reduced its staff by around 10 percent, ahead of the launch for its online first-person shooter game. The company said that these layoffs are part of a "reorganization" effort. The majority of the layoffs affected the studio's internet video channel, Stage 5 TV. Red 5 says that the ongoing development of Firefall will be unaffected by these layoffs.
After 23 years of doing business, UK game development studio Blitz Games will close, reports GII. At total of 175 employees will be laid off as a result, but management hopes to form a new company and hire back at least 50 of those employees. Blitz founders Philip and Andrew Oliver said that the company will continue working in two projects.
BioShock Infinite developer Irrational Games has confirmed that a round of layoffs has hit the studio. Kotaku reports that around eight employees were laid off this week.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its San Diego, Calif. and Austin, TX. studios as part of a new initiative to reduce costs, align its resources, and streamline its workforce company-wide.
"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios," the company said in a statement.
During a recent conference call to discuss its fiscal year 2013 second quarter results, GameStop chief financial officer Rob Lloyd said that the retailer was operating 6,505 stores. The company also said that it added 13 new stores globally during the quarter. That means that during the second quarter which ended on August 3, the company closed right around 52 stores.
In a memo sent to employees today, Big Fish Games CEO Paul Thelen announced that the company is laying off 49 employees in its Seattle office and shutting down its office in Vancouver. Projects in the Vancouver office would be moved to Seattle.
MCV is reporting that MMO publisher Trion Worlds will close its European office located in Guildford, UK by week's end. The European headquarters for the company will lay off ten employees and close the office this week, according to the report. Staff affected by the closure include Trion Europe boss John Burns, communications boss Jon Goddard commercial director Jeff Pabst, senior brand manager Dominic Wai and PR manager Gary Burns.
Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics has confirmed with Kotaku that it has laid of around 12 of its staff members. Crystal Dynamics is a studio under the auspices of Eidos, which is owned by parent company Square Enix.
These staff members were not working on a new Tomb Raider game, but a brand new IP, according to Kotaku. The company issued the following statement on the layoffs.
On the same day that Trion Worlds, makers of the Defiance MMO, announced that Scott Hartsman was the new CEO, it shut down its San Diego office. The lion's share of the work being done at the San Diego office was related to Defiance. Trion Worlds confirmed the shutdown of the studio and that development on Defiance would be moved to its Redwood City office.
GamesIndustry International is reporting that EA Phenomic has been closed. The studio responsible for developing Spellforce and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances is believed to employ around 60 people at one time, though the actual number of employees it had before closing is unknown as of this writing. While EA would not comment on the particulars of the studio's closure, it did issue a statement explaining why it had to shut Phenomic down:
Runescape maker Jagex has confirmed that it has laid off 13 employees that were working on the upcoming free-to-play MMO browser game Transformers Universe. According to the company these layoffs are the result of switching to established outside technology for the remainder of the game's development. In other words, the company has ditched its in-house engine in favor of some third-party software. This switch means less employee resources are needed going forward.
Square Enix has laid off "almost half " of IO Interactive's employees as part of what it calls "significant changes" at the studio, according to Develop. In a statement passed on to MCV from Develop, a spokesperson for Hitman series developer IO Interactive said that the Denmark-based studio was moving towards focusing solely on the Hitman series and has cancelled a number of projects and other initiatives that were being worked on as a result.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that it has closed Medal of Honor developer Danger Close. According to EA labels boss Patrick Soderlund, after it put the Medal of Honor franchise on hold, the studio had effectively closed. The majority of employees have left the company or have been absorbed at other studios with in EA including DICE Sweden. EA had previously declined to comment on whether Danger Close had been shut down.