Eden Games on Strike Due to Atari Layoffs
While most publishers and developers have come to accept “redundancies” as an unpleasant reality in the industry, Test Drive Unlimited 2 developer Eden Games is holding a one-day strike to protest the layoffs imposed by Atari.
The complaint is multi-tiered. First, the layoffs are especially harsh; 51 of the studio’s 80 employees are getting the permanent unpaid vacation. On top of that, Eden claims they are bearing the brunt of mismanagement at Atari, while executives at the developer are only too happy to continue paying themselves.
“For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties,” a statement from Eden Games reads.
The layoffs are proposed in advance of a new recovery project, but this isn’t Eden’s first time at the rodeo.
“Each time the recovery project was beautiful and promising, and ended in a failure,” the statement reads. “We are skeptical about the proposed project.”
Eden is making four demands (or requests, if you want to be polite about it). Here are the terms from Eden Games’ statement:
- Communicate and interact with the CEO, Jim Wilson, who has never introduced himself to his employees.
- Have a constructive negotiation on the terms of the redundancy plan, and not one-sided as is the case now.
- Be sure that an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari.
- Have real visibility on the future of the studio after the restructuring, especially in giving us the financial records requested by our accountant.
Gamasutra also taked to an unnamed employee at Eden Games, who was able to clear up some questions surrounding this strike. According to the employee, TDU2 will sell around 900K units, which is not shut-down-a-studio bad. So far, the strike hasn’t produced any results.
“Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to talk directly with Jim Wilson, we are negotiating with his French financier,” the respondent said.
In fact, Atari has yet to respond to the strike at all.
“We didn’t receive at this time any information or feedback from Atari management. We hope that this symbolic strike will have an impact on the current negotiations,” the respondent said.
Personally, I’m glad that Eden is calling out a publisher on this. Nobody wants to lay off workers, sure, but there has to be a better solution. The practice of seasonal layoffs was becoming disturbingly accepted.