It’s a bad day to be a game developer, as 38 Studios just laid off the entirety of their stuff due to financial turmoil. That’s a whopping 379 honest, working citizens, all jobless in one short day. The company sent out a notification to let the employees know just what would be happening to them:
“The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.
These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.
This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012.”
The company was given $75 million dollars from the state of Rhode Island to help fund their debut game, Kingdoms of Amalur. The game needed to sell 3 million units to break even, but only sold 1.2 million in the first three months. Despite those respectable numbers, especially for a new IP, Amalur was considered a failure and 38 Studios, as well as Rhode Island taxpayers, are now paying for it.
The company has not yet declared bankruptcy, but at this point, it seems nearly inevitable. Upon doing so, the Amalur IP would then belong to the state of Rhode Island, at which point it will likely be auctioned off.
Seriously, though, this really, really sucks for the good people at 38 Studios. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their game, but they had a whole lot of promise. If you want to support the employees, tweet about job openings at other gaming companies using the hashtag #38jobs.
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