I don’t usually put Facebook games on my “Must Check Out” list, but Ghost Recon Commander was there. Sadly, creator Brenda Romero (formerly Brenda Brathwaite) announced today that the isometric tactical combat game has been cancelled by Ubisoft with several members of the team laid off as well.
Sad news. Today, Ghost Recon Commander was cancelled. As a result, we laid off a team of kick-ass developers. If you have openings, ping me.
Romero’s status with Ubisoft is unclear, but she’s making a concerted effort to find new employment for her team members. Despite getting married (to John Romero of Id fame) just two days ago, Romero told Eurogamer, “I am not even thinking about the wedding or the honeymoon right now. It’s not material. I just want to find jobs for these people. That’s what matters most to me.”
Looking at her past work, it’s easy to see why Ghost Recon Commander was on radar when so many other Facebook games are falling off. One of the longest continuously working game developers, Romero joined the industry back in 1981 on the Wizardry team at Sir-tech Software. In 2001, Romero released Wizardry 8, pulling in piles of Game of the Year awards from publications like Computer Gaming World and GameSpot. After Sir-tech folded, despite Wizardry 8‘s accolades, Romero reentered the development spotlight in 2003 for her work on the Playboy: The Mansion game and her research on adult and sexual content in video games.
Layoffs have definitely become more common in the last few years of game development, as with everywhere else, but they’re just as sad and frustrating to hear about now as they’ve always been. With Romero working to find employment for her team, they shouldn’t be out of commission long; but, it’s unfortunate to have to cross one of the few Facebook games that’s ever sounded interesting off my list.
Good luck to Ms. Romero and the people who worked on Ghost Recon Commander with her.