Firefall design team "doubled," dozens of former Bioware and 38 Studios devs hired

Red 5 are "having to crunch harder than we ever have" to put together Firefall's massive upcoming summer update after they spent a month recruiting top talent laid off during the closure of 38 Studios and the donwsizing at Bioware Austin . The recruitment drive has significantly grown the size of the studio and doubled the size of the design team working on Firefall.

"About 80 percent or 90 percent of the people we've added in the past few months have been from 38 and Bioware. Two months ago we had a staff of 60, and now we're at just over 100," lead class designer Dave Williams told Owen at Gamescom.

Williams explained that it's been tricky move for Red 5, who are used to running with a small but "nimble" team, but the reality of the need to turn out enough content to support an MMO has overridden their concerns. "We needed to increase our ability to create content," said Williams. "We're treading the edge of the knife to some extent. But the people we've added - we're pretty careful about.

"We've probably spent a pure month on recruiting, which hurt production. We ended up having to crunch harder than we ever have to get this patch done. We've never really crunched at red 5, but this last month has been an absolutely a true crunch."

Williams said that the sudden spate of lay-offs earlier this year was "not a good thing for the industry," but mentioned that "the timing of 38 studios and Star Wars dumping all their staff at the same time is really good for us.

"We've found some incredibly talented people who are really happy. It's allowed us to build up the team quickly," he said.

The summer milestone update for Firefall is set to rebalance every class with new weapons and abilities. Red 5 are also busy adding an e-sports toolkit to turn Firefall into a great spectator sport.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.