Tomb Raider Dev Hit With Layoffs

Tomb Raider Dev Hit With Layoffs

Tomb Raider Screen

Twelve Crystal Dynamics employees have lost their jobs.

A sad reality of the game industry is that employment is frequently fluid. It's not rare for a studio, faced with financial difficulties or a surplus of employees at the end of a project, to lay off chunks of its staff. Sadly, it's been revealed that Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has recently gone through this process, letting several staff go in the wake of decisions that rendered their positions "redundant". Square Enix, which owns the studio, offered some comments to explain the move.

"We've made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics this week around the second project we're working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project," said the publisher. "This doesn't affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel." According to the publisher these cuts were only made because they were deemed "absolutely necessary." The statement goes on by thanking "them for their hard work and commitment."

There is perhaps some solace to be taken in the fact that these cuts are relatively light compared to some of the larger scale layoffs we've seen in the past. That being said, it always sucks to see talented people who worked hard lose their jobs. That in mind, we can't help but wonder what sort of "re-scoping" went on to necessitate these layoffs. It's possible, with several of its recent releases not performing as well as it had hoped, that Square Enix might be trying to shore up the costs on this latest project. Whether or not that's the case however, is something we can't know for sure.

Source: Kotaku

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I think a better situation would've been redundancies coming from the higher-ups at Squeenix. With their higher salaries there would've been less people let go to cover the same salary savings; maybe those remaining could make better decisions regarding sequels, marketing, reasonable targets and what constitutes those targets being met.

i rather think its because for them TR is a failure and therefor they want people who can make a game stupider that can sell more.
thats what i read out of this article.

Sun shines, birds fly, AAA dev looses some staff.

I wish these news articles were rare, rather than filler.

In other words, these guys/gals were doing the same work that other guys/gals were doing.

SE's trying to cut costs.

Hopefully it's the multi-play team, not because they did bad work, but because these games don't need sodding multi-player.

"La la la, the gaming industry is absolutely fine, nothing to see here, move along, la la la nope, those aren't layoffs, why do you ask? As if we'd be laying people off, the games industry is fine after all tra la la We sold 3.5 million copies of Tomb Raider, how stupid would it be if we then had to lay people off afterwards? Tra la la la la I mean, that would be really, really fucking stupid, right? Tra lee la la."

Metalrocks:
i rather think its because for them TR is a failure and therefor they want people who can make a game stupider that can sell more.
thats what i read out of this article.

It just seems weird that they wait until now to let them go.

People even read what the article says? Another project unrelated to Tomb Raider.

That sucks to see people let go but its a sad reality of the AAA industry that needs to change. Companies need to stop spending stupid amounts of money on games and then need to sell millions and millions to even break even. As much as i relay enjoyed the new TR they need to stop all this spending of money like its going out of fashion on silly hair physics and tacked on multiplayer, but hey it has to look 5% more sparkly and have multiplyer or nobody will buy it right? You don't see the retarded publishers and executives who make the decisions lose there jobs tho do you?

See dark souls for an example on how to make a amazing game that looks very good(with the unofficial patch for the PC) within a budget and sell a reasonable amount and make a good profit. (Only bad thing about that game is GFWL; guys GFWL does not work, you know it we know it so stop bloody using it)

Well let's hope they hit 5 million copies this time otherwise more people are getting fired. And a kitten gets strangled.

m19:
People even read what the article says? Another project unrelated to Tomb Raider.

This doesn't affect the Tomb Raider development team, who as confirmed last week are well into production on a next-generation sequel.

I think it's safe to say it's going to be a direct sequel to the reboot, especially seeing as Crystal Dynamics only make TR games now.

DVS BSTrD:

Metalrocks:
i rather think its because for them TR is a failure and therefor they want people who can make a game stupider that can sell more.
thats what i read out of this article.

It just seems weird that they wait until now to let them go.

could be they waited so it doenst seem to be that obvious.

CardinalPiggles:
Well let's hope they hit 5 million copies this time

That's old news! Thanks to the addition of rendered sweat pores, the game must now sell 50 million copies. The next game will include a smartphone that you can acquire and join a virtual facbook and play farmville while playing the game. Also, you need to buy DLC to get past the menu screen.

CrossLOPER:

CardinalPiggles:
Well let's hope they hit 5 million copies this time

That's old news! Thanks to the addition of rendered sweat pores, the game must now sell 50 million copies. The next game will include a smartphone that you can acquire and join a virtual facbook and play farmville while playing the game. Also, you need to buy DLC to get past the menu screen.

You do know that is not how it works...
I direct you at Metro Last Light. A game that looks MUCH better then Tomb Raider( not that it was a bad looking game, make no mistake here). It did not have TressFX made by Loreal, but it did have advanced Particle PhysX and fog phisics. It also cost several times less.
Or STALKER... a game with ACTUAL dynamic lightning... and good AI... made with a lesser budget and back in 2008 :P .

Hopefully the people fired were the guys who thought Tomb Raider needed less tomb raiding and more multiplayer.

I have to wonder how many developers and artists in the game industry are independent contractors. If the game industry has a high prevalence of a hire-then-fire cycle, then, it seems to me that it would be better for a creative professional in the game industry to be independent rather than a permanent employee of a specific game company. Of course, the drawback of that one has to really hustle to maintain contracts for gainful income; however, I would think, at least with being independent, there may be a bit more job security since you are not dependent on the continuation of a single project or set of projects, nor are you dependent on the continued success of one company. The entire game industry itself sort of becomes your employer, and there's always a job to be done, somewhere, that uses creative, programming, and design skills. Or maybe it's just too much a hassle to get and maintain the contracts. I don't know; I'm just guessing here.

Y'know, for all the talk about AAA games being the best the industry has to offer in terms of technical proficiency, funding, marketing and design (if not the best the industry has to offer in terms of innovation), we seem to hear about layoffs from the AA chaps the most. I've not heard of CD Projekt Red laying off staff, for instance.
Still, it is always a shame to see any industry vet lose his or her seat. Good luck to you all, mates.

CardinalPiggles:
Well let's hope they hit 5 million copies this time otherwise more people are getting fired. And a kitten gets strangled.

I'm just really sorry for the guys that made Chivalry Medieval Warfare: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.825174-Chivalry-Medieval-Warfare-Sells-Over-A-Million-Copies their game only sold 1.2 million copies compared to Tomb Raiders' 3.5 million. I'm sure the company will fold after this because they can't afford to keep all their lawyers and marketers and advertising overheads and server costs and 6 figure executives with only 1.2 million sold. Obviously the developers at the bottom of the pay scale will all have to be fired to keep the upper management in the manner they have become accustomed to.

Hoplon:
Hopefully it's the multi-play team, not because they did bad work, but because these games don't need sodding multi-player.

it won't have been, I think for some reason the AAA higher-ups still believe that shoehorned in multiplayer is the key to the promised land, even if it was, those let go were reportedly redundant, so no difference is made sadly,

I liked Tomb Raider but I played the multiplayer once, for all of ten minutes, it was exactly the same generic multiplayer you can get ANYWHERE else, wanna cut development costs? stop wasting time and money making something everyone already has a thousand versions of

geizr:
I have to wonder how many developers and artists in the game industry are independent contractors. If the game industry has a high prevalence of a hire-then-fire cycle, then, it seems to me that it would be better for a creative professional in the game industry to be independent rather than a permanent employee of a specific game company. Of course, the drawback of that one has to really hustle to maintain contracts for gainful income; however, I would think, at least with being independent, there may be a bit more job security since you are not dependent on the continuation of a single project or set of projects, nor are you dependent on the continued success of one company. The entire game industry itself sort of becomes your employer, and there's always a job to be done, somewhere, that uses creative, programming, and design skills. Or maybe it's just too much a hassle to get and maintain the contracts. I don't know; I'm just guessing here.

A large number of people employed in the industry ARE on contract. That people get fired and hired all the time is nothing unusual in the industry. This is virtually a non-story. I would be worried about complete studio closures such as the massive shutdown of studios by EA or Zynga, but a layoff of 12 people is hardly worth blinking at. As projects speed along, those 12 people might even get rehired. Game/TV/movie development is really cyclical and you're always looking for where to work next once your contract ends.

xyrafhoan:

geizr:
I have to wonder how many developers and artists in the game industry are independent contractors. If the game industry has a high prevalence of a hire-then-fire cycle, then, it seems to me that it would be better for a creative professional in the game industry to be independent rather than a permanent employee of a specific game company. Of course, the drawback of that one has to really hustle to maintain contracts for gainful income; however, I would think, at least with being independent, there may be a bit more job security since you are not dependent on the continuation of a single project or set of projects, nor are you dependent on the continued success of one company. The entire game industry itself sort of becomes your employer, and there's always a job to be done, somewhere, that uses creative, programming, and design skills. Or maybe it's just too much a hassle to get and maintain the contracts. I don't know; I'm just guessing here.

A large number of people employed in the industry ARE on contract. That people get fired and hired all the time is nothing unusual in the industry. This is virtually a non-story. I would be worried about complete studio closures such as the massive shutdown of studios by EA or Zynga, but a layoff of 12 people is hardly worth blinking at. As projects speed along, those 12 people might even get rehired. Game/TV/movie development is really cyclical and you're always looking for where to work next once your contract ends.

That was the impression I was getting, but I thought I would ask anyway to get some confirmation.

(Interestingly serendipitous capcha: bouncy ball)

 

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