Mastertronic lays off nearly half its staff as it seeks insolvency protection

Andy Chalk at

The original Mastertronic actually disappeared in the mid-90s, but it was reborn in 2004 when one of the original founders, Frank Herman, helped negotiate the purchase of the name from Sega. Sadly, ten years later the company is once again facing a bleak future, as it has announced plans to close its headquarters, lay off 40 percent of its staff and completely exit the business of publishing physical copies of games.

Report: 30+ Crytek UK staff have left since 2011, others go unpaid as studio struggles with financial trouble

Andy Chalk at

Crytek UK has lost more than 30 employees since 2011, according to a Eurogamer report. The departures include employees "who held key positions in art, design and programming" since development began on the new Homefront in 2011. News of the departures follows previous reports of financial troubles at Crytek, developers of Crysis and the Crytek Engine.

EVE Online studio CCP Games lays off 49 employees

Andy Chalk at

The trouble continues at EVE Online studio CCP Games, which has confirmed the layoff of 49 employees as part of an EVE-focused restructuring process. The layoffs come less than two months after CCP canceled the World of Darkness MMO, which resulted in the elimination of 56 employees at the company's Atlanta office.

Harmonix lays off 37 and chooses a new CEO, "retooling" musical shooter Chroma

Andy Chalk at

Less than one week after it successfully wrapped up the Amplitude Kickstarter, Harmonix has announced that it has laid off 37 employees and selected a new CEO; in a separate development, an email sent to testers of the "musical shooter" Chroma said the game isn't unfolding as the studio had hoped.

Irrational Games "winding down," Ken Levine starting smaller team within Take-Two

Emanuel Maiberg at

Today, Ken Levine announced that Irrational Games will be winding down as we know it after it releases the last piece of DLC for BioShock Infinite. Levine will be starting a smaller, "more entrepreneurial" endeavor at Take-Two, which also worked with him on the BioShock games. Unfortunately, this means Irrational will let go of all but 15 employees.

Firefall developer Red 5 Studios lays off 10 percent of workforce

Perry Vandell at

CEO and Founder of Red 5 Studios Mark Kern announced that the company is laying off 10 percent of its staff. "As Firefall matures, we must transition our priorities and our development strategy to focus on streamlined operations and live product support," Kern said.

Hitman studio lays off almost half its staff, taking another swing at franchise

Perry Vandell at

Dark clouds may have formed over Square Enix’s financial future months ago, but that doesn’t make the storm of layoffs at IO Interactive any less surprising or disheartening.

Layoffs hit Defiance developer Trion Worlds

Ian Birnbaum at

A large number of staffers has been laid off from Defiance developer Trion Worlds. As reported by IGN, the number could be as high as 80% of the development staff, though Trion has called that number “exaggerated.”

EA facing more layoffs, rumored termination of Partners program

T.J. Hafer at

EA undergoes layoffs

Evan Lahti at

IGN is reporting that Electronic Arts has undergone layoffs intended to "streamline operations" in advance of the release of the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's next console. This echoes the explanation given for layoffs at EA LA and EA Montreal in February.

Zynga lays off over 100 staff, closes UK, Japan and Boston studios

Marsh Davies at

Everybody's favourite casual gaming firm, Zynga, yesterday laid off around 150 employees, shuttering its studios in the UK, Japan and Boston in the process. The axe reportedly also fell on employees at the company's Austin and Massachusetts studios, in a brutal cull which took the rank and file by surprise and left them only two hours to clear their desks. Ouch.

The Secret World developer Funcom confirms "temporary layoffs"

Omri Petitte at

More harsh news in game development today: The Verge reports an unknown number of employee cutbacks occurring at The Secret World developer Funcom.

PopCap co-founder: Company leadership are "only ones culpable" for layoffs

Omri Petitte at

Today's "say it ain't so" news involves PopCap releasing about 50 employees at its Seattle offices and investigating the shaky future of its Dublin, Ireland branch. Now, PopCap co-founder John Vechey took to the keyboard with an official blog post explaining the decision with unusual clarity.

THQ lays-off 118 at Relic, Vigil as Warhammer 40K MMO Dark Millennium goes single-player

Rob Zacny at

THQ announced today that it has laid-off 118 full-time staff at its highly-regarded Relic Entertainment and Vigil Games studios. Vigil was the hardest hit, with 79 of the layoffs, as its Warhammer MMO makes an abrupt transition into what a THQ press release now calls "an immersive single player and online multiplayer experience with robust digital content, and engaging community features." Dark Millennium Online is now just Dark Millennium.

Blizzard lays off 600 employees, development teams "largely unaffected"

Josh Augustine at

The juggernaut developer behind the StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo franchises just announced that they're laying off 600 employees this morning. Mike Morhaime, Blizzard's president and co-founder, released a public statement on the World of Warcraft forums to clarify the need to let these employees go and which sections of the company would be affected.