Sunday, August 15, 2010
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A quick look at several development studios that were recently hit with layoffs, closed down, and/or were purchased by other companies.
Developer Acquisitions, Closures, & Layoffs
Personnel changes are nothing new in the gaming industry. Studios bring in additional workers for new games and cut back after they're released, under-performing titles force publishers to be more choosy of their releases, or sometimes developers just need a change of scenery and migrate to a different studio. Several of these developer-related stories have cropped up over the last week or two, so we've compiled them into one post for easy reading.
Following the dissolution and absorption of Cavia last month comes word that Artoon and Feelplus have met the same fate. English-speaking gamers will know Artoon as the developer of Nintendo's Yoshi's Island DS and Microsoft/Mistwalker's Blue Dragon. Feelplus, largely made up of former Square Enix and Nautilus (Shadow Hearts) employees, is best known as the developer of Mistwalker's Xbox 360 RPG, Lost Odyssey. As with Cavia the Artoon and Feelplus labels will no longer be used, however the employees themselves have merely been reassigned to other teams owned by AQ Interactive.
Another Japanese developer, Flight-Plan, has also been closed down. Flight-Plan was founded clear back in 1995 and was best known for its Summon Night series of RPGs. Several former employees of Flight-Plan have already regrouped and founded a new studio, named Apollosoft. Their first game as Apollosoft will be Blue Roses: The Fairy and the Blue Eyed Warriors, a turn-based strategy RPG for the PSP. Nippon Ichi Software will be publishing the game on behalf of the fledgling studio.
French developer Arkane Studios, best known for their work on Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Bioshock 2, has been purchased by ZeniMax Media. ZeniMax is the owner of development studios Bethesda Softworks and id Software.
n-Space is a name that won't be familiar to most. Responsible for several Wii and DS versions of popular games such as Call of Duty and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, as well as the 2005 GameCube game Geist, n-Space has gone about their job largely unnoticed. Citing "momentary reduced demand," n-Space has laid off about 25 of its 100 or so workers.
Finally, Realtime Worlds, developer of the recently released and critically panned APB: All Points Bulletin, has cut a large number of jobs. While attributed to planned restructuring following the release of APB, rumors are circulating that entire teams are being or have been let go. Realtime Worlds's first game, 2007's Xbox 360 exclusive Crackdown, received significant attention thanks to the inclusion of an invitation to Halo 3's multiplayer beta.
Source: Kotaku; Siliconera
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Posted by Warp
on 08/15 at 02:26 AM