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Layoffs Hit Maxis and Raven Software

| 26 Aug 2009 22:34
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Spore developer EA Maxis has been hit with a wave of layoffs, Electronic Arts confirmed today.

Bad news for the staff of Spore developer EA Maxis today, as Electronic Arts has confirmed that the studio has been hit with a series of layoffs, the most recent development in a by now regular trend in the games industry. There are no exact numbers for the layoffs, but Shacknews has it that this is a "sizable exodus."

"Often in the video game industry, the size of a studio fluctuates in response to business conditions," EA said in an official statement. ""In this case, EA has taken action to reduce the workforce at Maxis as we focus the business and focus Maxis."

This may have something to do with the Spore franchise itself, or just belt tightening all around at the EA operation. EA stated that it remains committed to Spore and other Maxis properties. The company most recently announced that Spore would be hitting Nintendo platforms this October in the form of Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena on the Wii and DS.

Maxis wasn't the only company to receive some bad news today. Wolfenstein and X-Men Origins Wolverine developer Raven Software was hit with layoffs, possibly in amounts upwards to some 56 of its 180 staff members, Raven confirmed earlier today.

"With the recent completion of both Wolverine, based on the summer blockbuster movie, and Wolfenstein, the next chapter of the famed franchise, Raven Software is slightly reducing its workforce to better reflect the studio's upcoming slate," Raven said.

This comes after news a few days ago of layoffs at Endrant Studios, which produced the game's multiplayer portion.

While it doesn't seem to be the case for Maxis, it does seem that the practice of cutting down on staff numbers directly after a project's completion (when you no longer have need for people and are thus wasting precious resources) is becoming all too common nowadays. 2K Boston's Ken Levine spoke out on the issue in July.

"One of the reasons, I think, that you see a lot of layoffs in this industry is that you have these huge products, and you don't have a plan for what you do afterward," Levine explained. "So the product ends, and - you see this day after day, you know - teams get cut in half or shut down after the product ships, because there's no plan to move on for the future."

[Via Shacknews]

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