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Disney shuts down LucasArts photo
Disney shuts down LucasArts
by Jim Sterling

Disney has today announced that it's decided to close down LucasArts as a game studio, transitioning it into a "licensing model." This effectively means that LucasArts is dead, likely to exist as little more than a legacy name for externally developed Star Wars titles. A round of layoffs has been had as a result. 

"After evaluating our position in the games market, we've decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games," claims the company. "As a result of this change, we've had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles."

R.I.P. LucasArts, and best wishes to those who have lost their jobs.

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6:15 PM on 03.21.2013

Twisted Pixel dev: Game industry is struggling, not dying

In the wake of massive studio closures these past few years, not to mention other eye-opening events like John Riccitello's resignation as CEO of Electronic Arts, it's hard to have a positive outlook on the industry's future....

Tony Ponce

7:45 PM on 03.04.2013

BioWare San Francisco has reportedly been closed

BioWare San Francisco (formerly EA2D), the developer behind Facebook game Dragon Age: Legends and Mirror's Edge 2D, has been shut down according to information provided by internal sources to GamesRadar and IGN. The closure o...

Jordan Devore

4:30 PM on 03.04.2013

Aliens: CM co-creators TimeGate Studios hit with layoffs

TimeGate Studios, one of the development teams that worked on the poorly received Aliens: Colonial Marines, has had some of its staff laid off according to Polygon. The development of the game, its reception, and the story of...

Patrick Hancock

11:30 PM on 02.28.2013

GameFly lays off employees, focuses on software

By-mail rental service GameFly looks toward a digital future, as 35 of its employees look for a new job. After layoffs today -- a spokesperson said 15-percent of the company, according to Joystiq -- CEO Dave Hodess stated the...

Allistair Pinsof

11:00 PM on 02.21.2013

HMV laying off 464 workers, closing 37 more stores

HMV has been having a pretty horrible year so far, and it's only February. Last month, the UK retailer went into administration, followed by an announcement that 66 stores would be closing up for good -- a move which also res...

Harry Monogenis

3:15 PM on 02.21.2013

IGN parent company to shutter 1UP, GameSpy, and UGO

IGN laid off several members of its editorial team today. The move follows IGN's recent sale to Ziff Davis Media, which also plans to close subsidiaries 1UP, GameSpy, and UGO as a part of the restructuring.  "Our goal is...

Kyle MacGregor

12:30 PM on 02.20.2013

Activision expects to have fewer licensed games this year

Word got out yesterday that Activision had laid off around 30 full-time employees, which was later confirmed by the company. "Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its...

Jordan Devore



Valve fires employees from hardware and Android teams photo
Valve fires employees from hardware and Android teams
by Jordan Devore

[Update: Valve head Gabe Newell offered the following statement to Engadget: "We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."]

Last night, word got out that Jeri Ellsworth had been fired from Valve. While I didn't think too much of it at the time, she was a part of the company's hardware R&D division and, as we learned today, she was not alone in being let go. What's going on at Valve?

Gamasutra is reporting that "several employees" have been laid off, including folks who were on hardware and Android development at Valve, with employees describing the situation as a "great cleansing." While unconfirmed, the number "25" has been brought up.

Considering the profitability of the company, it would seem that this has more to do with the direction Valve is heading in than anything else. Gamasutra suspects the cuts were due to company challenges as opposed to individual employee performance, which makes a lot of sense as new initiatives are underway.

Several out of work as Valve makes 'large decisions' about its future [Gamasutra]

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6:15 PM on 01.31.2013

Former THQ president on where the company went wrong

While THQ was split up following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, not all of its properties have been auctioned off yet, and there's still plenty left to say about the now-defunct publisher. MCV ran an insightful piece today coveri...

Jordan Devore

8:30 PM on 01.25.2013

SCEA confirms layoffs at PlayStation All-Stars developer

Last I heard about PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale developer SuperBot Entertainment, the studio was hiring; that's the kind of story we like to see. Lately, however, it's been less cheerful. It seems SuperBot has been hit...

Jordan Devore

8:30 PM on 01.18.2013

Gas Powered Games sees layoffs, might close Kickstarter

When thinking of what-if scenarios that you wouldn't want to happen while running a Kickstarter campaign, I feel like "layoffs" would be up there pretty high. Days after seeking crowdfunding support for its action-RPG/RTS Wil...

Jordan Devore

6:45 PM on 10.24.2012

The DTOID Show: XCOM DLC, Sim City, Zynga & Warfighter

Today on The Destructoid Show, we discuss XCOM: Enemy Unknown's upcoming Slingshot DLC, Sim City's momentary delay, Medal Of Honor: Warfighter's less-than-thrilling reception, and crappy ol' Zynga doing a bunch of crappy stuff. Again.

Max Scoville



Zynga lays off five percent of its full-time employees photo
Zynga lays off five percent of its full-time employees
by Jordan Devore

There were a number of layoffs at Zynga today, as you might have heard from employees who were affected and quickly spread the word. An internal note from CEO Mark Pincus confirms much of what's been said about the significant changes that took place.

For starters, Zynga Boston is being closed. Closures have been proposed for the company's Japan and UK studios, and layoffs are also hitting the studio in Austin. All told, approximately five percent of Zynga's full-time workforce has been let go. 13 older games are being sunset and the social game company will be "significantly reducing [its] investment in The Ville."

Pincus notes that "This is the most painful part of an overall cost reduction plan that also includes significant cuts in spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors. These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on web and mobile."

It's a shame how frequently layoffs seem to happen in this industry -- even when it is a company whose work you don't particularly care for. Best of luck to those impacted by the layoffs in finding work swiftly.

Zynga lays off five percent of employees during Apple's event, shutters Boston studio [update: Mark Pincus's memo to staff] [The Verge]

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7:00 PM on 10.19.2012

Starhawk developer Lightbox lays off 75% of its staff

"And yeah, its time for another drink..." Dylan Jobe, president of Lightbox Interactive, posted on Twitter, Tuesday. Sony made a gamble when it invested in Lightbox Interactive to make a competitive multiplayer shooter called...

Allistair Pinsof

10:15 AM on 10.16.2012

Microsoft cuts Lionhead staff by 'less than 10%'

Following the completion of Fable: The Journey, Microsoft shaved somewhere under 10% of Lionhead Studios' workforce, the publisher told GI International this week.  "We are working closely with the affected employees dur...

Jim Sterling