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