Seeing layoffs from the AAA studios of the world has become an all too common occurrence, but we have to remember that even the mid-sized studios out there are not immune to this trend either. Popular developer Double Fine Productions has confirmed that it had to let go of twelve employees after an unannounced project failed to secure a publishing deal.
Studio Head Tim Schafer confirmed with Games Industry International, stating that none of its announced projects have been affected.
“One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people. Our remaining projects–Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected.”
Broken Age was of course one of the first massive successes on Kickstarter, pulling in nearly $3 million to secure its development. A few financial issues later forced the company to split the game up into two halves and release the first part on Steam Early Access to secure additional funds. We are still waiting for the second half. Likewise, Massive Chalice was also a Kickstarter success with over $1.2 million that has since been released on Steam Early Access.
As for Grim Fandango Remastered, it is a Sony backed port of the classic graphic adventure for the PS Vita. It’s also a passion project for Schafer as it remains one of his most beloved and well written games to date.
We can only wonder what game was dropped, and we hope that those who were let go can find new jobs in the coming days. Be it our biggest AAA studios or our smaller teams, it’s never easy to see this happen.