Author Topic: Games Industry Death Watch 2010-present  (Read 273622 times)

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Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Games Industry Death Watch 2010-present
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:53:21 PM »
Games Industry Death Watch 2009

Quote from: January 2009
- Jaleco closes (IP and $7.736m/$17.68m loan sold to Game Yarou for $0.01)
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21930

- MS ACES (Flight Simulator team gone)
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21981
- MS cuts 30% of testers at MGS + unspecified GFW team
http://kotaku.com/5138389/more-micro...-windows-group

- Sega cuts 30 in San Francisco
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21942

- Eidos cuts 30 people at Crystal Dynamics
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21809

- Eidos closes Rockpool Games (Manchester) [mobile]
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...chester-studio

- Seta Corp (Super Entertainment & Total Amusement) closed
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21943

- EA to cut 10% of staff and 9 studios consolidated/closed by March
---- unspecifed # @ Tiburon (Madden and Tiger Woods divisions confirmed hit)
---- Blackbox (200 out of 350 jobs cut, remainder absorbed into EA Burnaby [Vancouver])
---- 21 customer service, half of QA, all of playtest group @ Mythic

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21974
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=21931

- unspecified cuts at Sony and MS (kotaku sez bulk of the current 1400 cut from MS are from Entertainment & Devices)

Nexon closes Humanature studio (Vancouver) 90 Jobs lost
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...anature-studio

Unspecified layoffs at Kuju in US and UK
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...across-studios

Ensemble closes
http://www.ensemblestudios.com/blogs...nd-thanks.aspx

Disney Interactive Studios layoff ~70 at Propoganda, confirms plans to"consolidate a handful of its studios, including Avalanche Software andthe Fall Line studio."
http://blog.wired.com/games/2009/01/...unced-tur.html
Quote from: February 2009
Brighter Minds (World of Goo) goes Bankrupt
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-goes-bankrupt

THQ Mobile shuts down in San Diego, Germany and UK (~100 jobs)
http://blog.wired.com/games/2009/02/...be-bomber.html

Action Pants (British-Columbia) acquired by Ubisoft
http://kotaku.com/5145390/ubisoft-acquires-action-pants

Free Radical acquired by Crytek
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=22156

EA to close 12 facilities + 1100 jobs
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...g-USD641m-loss

Snowblind Studios acquired by Warner Bros
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=22178

Eidos drops casual studio (Gimme5games)
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...l-games-studio

Sega cuts 18% of workforce (560 jobs)
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=22239

NCSoft cuts 55 at NC West (Europe)
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...uropean-office

Midway files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
http://www.midway.com/us/pr/mpr_5591.html

Rare cuts artist and engineer positions (12 known)
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...neer-positions

Popcap acquires Gastronaut Studios
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...es-xbla-studio

Fillpoint acquires Crave Entertainment and SVG Distribution
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-crave-and-svg
Quote from: March 2009
THQ cuts majority of Volition's (Saint's Row) QA staff - 86 of 102
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=22562

THQ to sell or close Big HUge Games, Heavy Iron and Incinerator becoming independent.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...r-close-studio

Namco to buy all branches of D3 publisher, including studio Vicious Cycle
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-d3p-businesse
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 08:09:00 AM by Shaymin »

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Games Industry Death Watch Q2 2009
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 05:57:36 PM »
Quote from: April 2009
THQ confirms unspecified layoffs at BigHugeGames, still looking for sale
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...big-huge-games
Quote from: May 2009
3D Realms closes
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...s-closes-doors

Microsoft Game Studios acquires BigPark
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...cquire-bigpark

38 Studios acquires BigHugeGames from THQ
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...big-huge-games

Grin Studios cuts 160 people
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthre...?f=59&t=768094

Factor 5 closes
http://www.edge-online.com/news/lair...actor-5-closes
Quote from: June 2009
Management Buy-Out/Closure of Chemistry (Kuju)
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...emistry-studio

Deadline Games (Watchman Game) files for bankruptcy
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...for-bankruptcy

Crystal Dynamics cuts 25 more people
http://gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=23989

Midway San Diego and Newcastle face closure by end of June.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...by-end-of-june

America's Army studio closes
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...o-closes-doors

Rockstar lays of 10% of New England staff
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...d-staff-report

ZeniMax (owner of Bethsoft) acquires id Software
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...es-id-software
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 07:15:19 PM by BlackNMild2k1 »

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Games Industry Death Watch Q3 2009
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 06:01:18 PM »
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 07:14:20 PM by BlackNMild2k1 »

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Games Industry Death Watch Q4 2009
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 06:02:52 PM »
Quote from: October 2009
Transmission Games lays off 20
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-staff-members

Ubisoft acquires Trackmania developer Nadeo
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...eveloper-nadeo

Activision lays off 30 from 7 studios
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ased-7-studios

Activision closes Shaba Studios
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...tudios-closure

Optimus acquires Witcher developer in CD Projekt takeover
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ojekt-takeover

Idol Minds lays off ~26
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...it-by-lay-offs

Transmission Games closes
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...s-doors-report

Slipgate Ironworks lays off ~50
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...gate-ironworks
Quote from: November 2009
Square-Enix/Taito/Eidos cuts 10% globally
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...und-10-percent

EA Acquires Playfish
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...sh-acquisition

EA to layoff 1,500 by April 2010, including "several studio closures"
Tiburon, Blackbox, Redwood Shores, Mythic reportedly affected
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=25999

Playdom acquires Green Path and Trippert Labs
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-trippert-labs

Pandemic closes
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-studios-today

Krome faces unspecified number of layoffs
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...e-studio-krome
Quote from: December 2009
Fuzzeyes lays off majority of staff
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ority-of-staff

Threewave studio enters reorganization
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...nisation-phase

Rumor: Apsyr cuts staff by over 50%
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ver-50-percent

SCEA drops 30 QA jobs
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...dates-qa-group

Paradox Interactive acquires AGEOD
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...eveloper-ageod

Oberon Media lays off 100
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-off-100-staff/quote]

Compiled by Dr. Mario Kart of Penny-Arcade Forums
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 07:11:39 PM by BlackNMild2k1 »

Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 06:54:11 PM »
AN EXCITING RACE, FOLKS.

It's like watching a domino rally.
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Offline King of Twitch

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 06:58:30 PM »
I'm printing this out and dancing on it!
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Offline Ymeegod

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 07:19:28 PM »
Dropping QA testers isn't a big deal since it's been done like that for 20+ years that I know of.  Once a product is shipped the testers really don't much to do if the team doesn't already have a build of another game ready so why keep them on payroll?

Interesting list anyhow.

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 08:07:27 PM »
We can also use this thread to track the
GAMES INDUSTRY DEATH WATCH 2010

Offline Peachylala

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 08:14:16 PM »
I second that.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 08:37:41 PM »
Must be all the piracy.
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Offline Peachylala

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 09:57:17 PM »
Must be all the overstuffed egos.
Sounds much better.
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Offline stevey

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 11:15:17 PM »
I wouldn't mind at all if all the listed companies completely disappeared.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2010, 11:34:40 PM »
I wouldn't mind at all if all the listed companies completely disappeared.

Given that those companies make up most of the 3rd parties (certainly the major players, anyway), that's a foolish sentiment.  As I stated in another topic, there needs to be healthy competition in the industry to keep it fresh and interesting.  You don't want the entire industry consolidated into a couple companies that never have to evolve their craft because there's no one challenging them.

That's certainly a disheartening list, especially EA's because they cut their jobs in precisely the places where I had hoped to get rehired a few months ago.  It was certainly delayed, but the recession definitely hit the industry hard last year.  Here's hoping it rebounds this year.
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Offline Kairon

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2010, 11:38:11 PM »
Doesn't EA work in cycles though? It seems like they've been firing-and-rehiring every year for the past couple years, but I might not have been paying close attention.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2010, 11:40:59 PM »
Doesn't EA work in cycles though? It seems like they've been firing-and-rehiring every year for the past couple years, but I might not have been paying close attention.

They like to offer temporary contract positions, which usually cover the duration of a given project and offer no benefits.  Then they can either lay you off when they're short on work (which is what happened to me), or they can simply let your contract expire.  That's how it is on the bottom-end, anyway.  I couldn't guess how jobs higher up the chain work.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 03:54:17 AM »
none of those companies have Hiroshi Yamauch style execs, people who go with their gut..those guys use focus groups and third party demographic studies, and all the other bullshit thats ruining the game industry, The only odd one on the list is Factor 5, who really just made a bad mistake teaming with Brash to publish, spening ungodly amount of money ps3 deving, ditching their established fanbase....things would have been different if they went with ea as a publisher or something. Square doesn't have too many employees so if they cut 10 percent they are not cutting too many.

I wouldn't mind at all if all the listed companies completely disappeared.

Given that those companies make up most of the 3rd parties (certainly the major players, anyway), that's a foolish sentiment.

other then square/enix, and ubisoft(who isn't failing on the list, as they are aquiring other companies) i don't buy alot of games from those companies. Its usually Nintendo/Capcom/Konami/ubisoft/square for me. Sega is sometimes a potential purchase, but they have been made of fail for a while now.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:01:06 AM by ThePerm »
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 04:51:51 AM »
I wouldn't mind at all if all the listed companies completely disappeared.

Given that those companies make up most of the 3rd parties (certainly the major players, anyway), that's a foolish sentiment.  As I stated in another topic, there needs to be healthy competition in the industry to keep it fresh and interesting.  You don't want the entire industry consolidated into a couple companies that never have to evolve their craft because there's no one challenging them.

You won't see gaming die out, anyone with a modicum of skill can make a simple game and it evolves from there. If major publishers die out new companies sprout in that vacuum.

Offline Chozo Ghost

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 06:11:58 AM »
Nintendo is one company name I don't see on the endangered species list. Most of those names on there are either the competition (Sony/MS), or companies that have given the Wii the shaft or treated it like a toilet to dump garbage games on. So to me this seems like poetic justice that they are now struggling.

Ignoring the market leader is a terrible policy, and when they die off it will be thanks to gaming Darwinism.
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Offline Peachylala

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 12:27:12 PM »
I wouldn't mind at all if all the listed companies completely disappeared.

Given that those companies make up most of the 3rd parties (certainly the major players, anyway), that's a foolish sentiment.  As I stated in another topic, there needs to be healthy competition in the industry to keep it fresh and interesting.
Fresh and interesting? Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports Resort, No More Heroes.
Fresh and interesting? Bioshock, it's sequal, Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2.
Fresh and interesting? Indie games, Wii Ware, DSiWare, Xbox Live Arcade games (some of them)
 
What a majority of third parties find fresh and interesting, including the fan bases that dump their cash on them?
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Offline NinGurl69 *huggles

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 01:05:04 PM »
Healthy competition is good, but we're not really SEEING that, are we?  The competitors were once healthy, but competition wasn't exactly healthy (stale, stagnant, complacent).  Consequently, the competitors aren't healthy, and given the business sense they've demonstrated, their lack of health is adversely affecting their ability to compete.

Not stepping up means they can GTFO, or simply die-out.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2010, 01:47:06 PM »
Ignoring the market leader is a terrible policy, and when they die off it will be thanks to gaming Darwinism.

It isn't a terrible policy when core Wii gamers largely don't buy games on the console that aren't Nintendo-made, and the expanded audience don't buy games more than once or twice a year at all.  Somewhere along the line, 3rd parties have to cut their losses and just stop attempting to throw games at the wall that is the fickle Nintendo fanbase in the faint hope of finding something that satisfies their unsatisfiable wishes.  We can quibble about the 3rd party games not necessarily being what we want on Wii (which is a perfectly valid complaint), but Nintendo gamers not buying 3rd party games is a problem going back to the N64 era.
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Offline Chozo Ghost

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2010, 02:13:14 PM »
Ignoring the market leader is a terrible policy, and when they die off it will be thanks to gaming Darwinism.

It isn't a terrible policy when core Wii gamers largely don't buy games on the console that aren't Nintendo-made, and the expanded audience don't buy games more than once or twice a year at all.  Somewhere along the line, 3rd parties have to cut their losses and just stop attempting to throw games at the wall that is the fickle Nintendo fanbase in the faint hope of finding something that satisfies their unsatisfiable wishes.  We can quibble about the 3rd party games not necessarily being what we want on Wii (which is a perfectly valid complaint), but Nintendo gamers not buying 3rd party games is a problem going back to the N64 era.

The Wii audience isn't fickle. We simply demand more than crappy Rail Shooters. When have the 3rd parties delivered what we actually want? They did with RE4 and you can't tell me that game didn't sell well. Another game is No More Heroes and that game wasn't a rail shooter, and it apparently did well enough to warrant a sequel.

So we aren't fickle. We just don't want garbage. I suspect the PS3/360 would reject rail shooters too.
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Offline Urkel

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2010, 03:38:53 PM »
I suspect the PS3/360 would reject rail shooters too.

They did. Time Crisis 4 was a big floppo. ZOMG THAT MEANS THERE'S NO MARKET FOR CORE GAMES ON PS3!!!!!!
 
 
But the worst is behind the industry. I'm sure all the games the publishers had no faith in selling during a crowded holiday season will do much better during a crowded first quarter.
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Offline oohhboy

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2010, 11:14:02 PM »
Time Crisis 4 wasn't that good of a game in the first place, so no real surprise there. What I am really surprised about is the lack of shooter ports from the arcades. Stuff like that on the Wii would almost be free money. Sure they can't sell that at full price, but at a suitably budget price, I would at very least eat they up like crazy.

I was expecting a flood of arcade rail shooters, but it has been pretty shallow.
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Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2009
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2010, 11:28:25 PM »
3rd parties are apparently blind to the obvious and allergic to easy money.

I've been asking for at the minimum a Point-Blank Arcade -> WiiWare Port since forever.

HotD came, but no Time Crisis or Virtua Cop compilation.
Those might've sold like hotcakes at $20 a pop, and it was a minimal investment title for properties that are just collecting dust on the digital shelf.

But instead of investing a few months on converting code and assets to make some really easy money, I guess we can just lay off 20% of our staff and sell our company out of a desperate need for cash....