Author Topic: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs  (Read 1297 times)

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Offline NWR_Karlie

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Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:59:48 PM »

Not all is well at the Disney-owned Junction Point.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/24932

Junction Point, Warren Spector's studio owned by Disney, are experiencing lay-offs. The team was responsible for the development of Disney Epic Mickey, released in November last year. 

Epic Mickey was the first game the company developed for Disney following their acquisition in 2007. The company was formed by Spector and several other former Ion Storm employees.

Reports are coming in from fellow developers offering sympathy on Twitter, collected by Eurogamer. An official statement has not yet been released.

Just days ago, Disney reported the shut down of the Vancouver-based Propaganda Games following the conclusion of Tron: Evolution. The studio downsized in October 2010 when the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada Of The Damned game was cancelled.

UPDATE: CNBC is reporting that as much as half of the 700-employee company are affected. Warren Spector is said to be still employed at Junction Point.


Offline Shaymin

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 08:29:43 PM »
I'm hoping this is slowdown from the fact that they had to hire a boatload of people to get Epic Mickey out for the end of the year...
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Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2011, 08:31:34 PM »
I'm hoping this is slowdown from the fact that they had to hire a boatload of people to get Epic Mickey out for the end of the year...

From what I've read, that's exactly what it sounds like.

Didn't they almost double staff to make sure EM made it out on time?

Offline SixthAngel

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2011, 08:37:18 PM »
Its certainly not from lack of sales.  Epic Mickey sold a ton apparently.

Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 08:41:27 PM »
Sad to see people lose their jobs, but like others said it is common for companies to hire temporary employees for a big project. It's like when retailers hire extra employees for the holidays and let them go after.
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Offline NWR_Neal

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 09:00:42 PM »
I'm inclined to agree with all of you. I think this is more a reflection of how they had to hire a bunch of people to finish it than the studio crumbling. The game got mixed reviews, but it sold really well.
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Offline NWR_Lindy

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 10:27:07 PM »
Yeah, they never mention whether or not these were temporary or permanent employees.  Big difference there.  Temps are hired to be fired, usually.
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Offline Enner

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 10:44:06 PM »
Also, Disney Interactive didn't have a great 2010 year. I guess they need to cut overhead or something to appease the mother corp.

Offline broodwars

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 01:18:49 AM »
Also, Disney Interactive didn't have a great 2010 year. I guess they need to cut overhead or something to appease the mother corp.

Hopefully, that doesn't mean cuts to Black Rock Studios, who did a phenomenal job with Split/Second that got destroyed due to really bad marketing planning, putting it out in the Blur and ModNationRacers window.

As for Junction Point, I'm kind of surprised given the success of Epic Mickey that the employees currently laid-off weren't funneled into new projects, especially on Wii.
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Offline Enner

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 04:13:06 AM »
No new projects to shuffle them to, probably.

As for Black Rock Studios, I share the sentiment. Split/Second did manage to get fifth (I think) in the UK sales charts so sales couldn't have been too poor.

(Looks at VGChartz)

0.81 million worldwide. Ehh, that's not too shabby right?

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »
http://www.vg247.com/2011/01/25/disney-restructures-into-digital-only-publisher/
Quote
Variety’s reporting that Disney has restructured into a digital-only publisher, and will now eschew retail and packaging.

“As part of setting a strategic direction for future success in the digital media space, the Disney Interactive Media Group today began a restructuring process,” read a statement to the site.

It follows claims that 700 jobs had been lost at the company, with Epic Mickey developer Junction Point also seeing lay-offs.
Quote
*Epic Mickey selling 1.5 million in the US

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Epic Mickey Developers Experiencing Lay-Offs
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 02:54:37 PM »
If Black Rock guys are getting canned and they were key guys involved in Split/Second Nintendo should pick those guys up.  Split/Second is the most enjoyable racer I've played in YEARS.  Not only is it a great game but it's a CREATIVE game.  It's got that, you know, innovation stuff that every publisher talks a lot about but rarely delivers on.

Hell even if they've still got jobs, hire them away.  They're wasted on digital-only games.  Split/Second is your standard racing game with a twist.  And isn't "____ With a Twist" a good way to describe a lot of Nintendo's games?  They're not the sort of company that will release a straight Ridge Racer clone but they will take something conventional and do something new with it.  That's how you describe Split/Second.