Firaxis Lays Off 20 Employees

Discussion in 'News Updates' started by Ginger_Ale, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Ginger_Ale

    Ginger_Ale Lurker Retired Moderator

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    With Civ5's release date over two months away, news that Firaxis has laid off 20 workers, roughly 15% of its total employment of 130, comes as a surprise. Take-Two, Firaxis' parent company, stated that "Firaxis has realigned its development resources in order to streamline its development process, reduce costs and maximize the overall performance of the studio", all without impacting the creation of Civ5 and Civilization Network for Facebook.

    According to Variety.com:
    Layoffs after a game ships are fairly common in the gaming world, but layoffs of this magnitude before it is completed are rare - and rather baffling.

    [Sid] Meier was not affected by the layoffs and will remain with the company. "Civ V" is still scheduled for release on Sept. 21. Alan Lewis, Vice President of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs for Take Two, says the Facebook "Civ" game is on track for an open beta "later this year."
     
  2. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    Brutal. One of the more successful gaming companies cutting people on the eve their next big hit?

    Sometimes you have to wonder if the Firaxis and Blizzards of the world ever regret joining forces with the bigger "parent companies."
     
  3. Acronym2

    Acronym2 'Cedo Alteram'

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    I was just thinking that myself as I read the news. Also, that little bit about Sid Meiers gives one the impression that 2K does not neccessarily consider him indespensable. Firaxis always seemed different after 2K, not the good old homespun kind of gaming company that it once was. 2K seems to be out to up the profitability all along the board.

    (What is this about a Civ Facebook Network?)
     
  4. veBear

    veBear Slumerican Citizen

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    Bad things have been happening the gaming industry. First Bungie sold Halo and now this...
     
  5. evrett37

    evrett37 Prince

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    no one ever listens to Cassandra...I've been warning about the consequences of big company takeovers for months.
     
  6. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Personally, I feel sorry for those 20 people... :(
     
  7. pianoman1242

    pianoman1242 Beast

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  8. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    Yeah. Can't be a good time to be in their shoes.

    This may indeed be solely a Take Two move. It's worth noting that they haven't been profitable recently (except around the time GTA4 came out), so they are probably to trying to increase the profitability even amongst the more successful studios just to even the books across the board. Considering their sizable losses last year, you can't really say they are all about profits.

    Civ Facebook Network is supposed to be, basically, a Civ game that you can play on Facebook. I'm wondering if perhaps that is one of the more affected areas. It is late coming out already, which doesn't match with "streamlining" and "maximizing the overall performance". It looks like it's still coming out, but hasn't been going as smoothly as hoped. It does seem a bit early for them to be cutting Civ5 people.
     
  9. Acronym2

    Acronym2 'Cedo Alteram'

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    Interesting infromation.......perhaps it is not unfair to say Firaxis might have been better on its own.

    (Oh, I see about Civ Facebook! Something I would have no interest in, but now I at least understand what it is.)
     
  10. Nick Danger

    Nick Danger Steam should be optional

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    I wonder how many take2 employees were laid off...

    /sarcasm
     
  11. renohol

    renohol Warlord

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    maybe this is a nwew trend? laying off people as phases of a game are completed instead of the whole game?
     
  12. ancestral

    ancestral Warlord

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    Ever thought that maybe Firaxis has/had one or two projects on the back burner? (Civ for Facebook, anyone?)

    That Civ V got bumped up in the release schedule to get a product out sooner that will gross money now and free up key developers soon after?

    That the fact that Firaxis has such a young kid being the lead is because the veteran guys wanted to develop new games that were a little more radical than the proven TBS recipe?

    That one of these projects was spiraling way out of control with way too many people, was not on track for any release, that it got axed or folded, prompting Firaxis to cut staff?
     
  13. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    It should be interesting of note that CivNation (or whatever it's going to be called) on Facebook has over 90k + fans waiting on some type of info from 2k/Firaxis ( IMO, more 2k than Firaxis) on the beta. Apparently they are kept just as informed and up to date as rapidly as we are, which is to say, almost non-exsistant.

    Wonder how many of those Facebook fans are also fans of the Civ series.
     
  14. LegioCorvus

    LegioCorvus Prince

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    What's worth noting is that while 20 Firaxis employees out of ~130 were let go, only 52 of them were working on Civ5.

    Quote from article 3 positions down from this one on the main page:
    Most likely, these were extraneous people working on other projects or on not much at all. One of the guys let go, as I understand, was working on a Farmville project for some reason. Also, the CivNetwork idea is Sid Meier's current baby. He's pretty much been working on that full time while Shafer does Civ5.

    Really, it's not the alarmist issue people have want to make it.
     
  15. Shambler

    Shambler Chieftain

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    This is English, how?
     
  16. OctopusOverload

    OctopusOverload Cultist

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    "Our economists messed up and now we're trying to cover up the losses caused by their stupidity by sacking people from a subcontractor who can't really refuse."
     
  17. cephalo

    cephalo Deity

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    Tough as it is, it would seem that as an industry changes you're always going to have an accumulation of people that aren't strictly needed. You can't afford to keep everyone in a publicly owned company. People want profits from the stock that they own.

    If it is indeed true that their ability to produce games will not be impacted without these people, then...
     
  18. mwyeoh

    mwyeoh Chieftain

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    Unfortunately, the real issue in regards to company profitability is piracy. Ive always supported the gaming industry by buying all my games for my PC even though friends want to 'lend' me their copy.

    The worst culprits are South-East Asian countries and China... as usual (Im not being racist- I myself am of chinese ethnicity). In some places, there are more piracy shops in a normal shopping centre than there are legitimate sellers (Firsthand experience).

    And ofcourse the internet and torrents are playing a major role in this problem too.
     
  19. ICNP

    ICNP The Third Superpower

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    Maybe they were artists. How much art could be left to do? And a lack of polish on art is typically less noticed than gameplay bugs.
     
  20. Hypernova

    Hypernova Warlord

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    My main hope is that none of them were testers.
     

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