The good news: Wolfenstein, the new shooter from Raven and id, was released today. The bad news: So were a lot of employees at multiplayer developer Endrant Studios.
Set after the events that unfolded in the 2002 FPS Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein sees the Nazis returning to their supernatural experimentation and eventually discovering The Veil, a new dimension with amazing powers the Nazis intend to put to use in their war effort. Once again, OSA agent B.J. Blazkowicz is called upon to uncover their evil plans, bring them to a halt and save the day.
Unfortunately, the release of the game isn’t good news for everyone: With the game out the door, an unspecified number of employees at Endrant Studios, which developed the multiplayer component of the game, have been laid off. Endrant was formed in July 2008 and Wolfenstein was its first project.
“We have recently completed a development cycle and have regrettably been forced to make adjustments to staff and headcounts,” a company rep told GamesIndustry. “Those affected are valued members of our team who have worked incredibly hard on our latest title. We hope that they land on their feet quickly.”
The timing sucks but unfortunately, post-release layoffs aren’t all that terribly uncommon. Studios need people to make games but once those games are made, smaller operations like Endrant often can’t afford to maintain inflated headcounts, particularly if they don’t have a new project they can immediately step into.
I can’t imagine a worse time to be slapped with a pink slip than on a day when you should be celebrating the launch of a major game, especially given the iffy state of the economy, but I hope the Wolfenstein multiplayer absolutely rocks and everyone affected by the cuts “lands on their feet” soon.