“Happy New Year—clean out your desk.”
That’s what I imagine many workers in the game development industry have been hearing in the last few weeks, as news of studio closures and lay-offs seem to have spread around the gaming internet lately. In this very post, we’ve got three separate, sad stories of people who may have lost their jobs in the industry.
A Joystiq post from yesterday reports that an unknown number of workers at Bethesda-owned id Software have been laid off.
“As part of its standard business practice, id regularly evaluates staffing to ensure it has a workforce that meets the needs of the studio,” reads a statement from Bethesda. “As part of that process, some id employees were recently let go.” Despite the staffing losses, the company is still recruiting developers for work on future titles, such as the in-development Doom 4, says the post.
Another post on Joystiq adds more fuel to the job-loss fire, reporting that Monumental Games, the developers of the MotoGP game series, has entered administration, which is European-talk for “bankruptcy.” The last 20 employees of the company have all lost their jobs while the company reorganizes its finances and prepares for closure—despite a statement from the company in December 2010 that the company was restructuring and wouldn’t be firing any more employees.
Finally, a Gamasutra post brings us news that Bigbig Studios, the developer behind PlayStation Vita launch title Little Deviants has been shut down by Sony. It’s not known how many people have lost their jobs at this studio, but Sony offered a statement on the move, saying, “It was felt that by focusing on other studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers.”
It’s a shame that all of these places are shedding employees, but I suspect that’s a fairly common practice after the crunch time around holiday releases. Our sympathies to everyone who’s lost their jobs, and we hope they find speedy employment