Warner Bros.' newest studio is to focus iPad games and casual MMOs, but staff are upset, as that's not what they signed up for.
Staff at Warner Bros.' Montreal studio is said to be angry over the shift in focus from triple A to casual games. Apparently, some staff members were so upset about the change in direction, they chose to leave the company.
The studio, which currently has 26 staff but has plans to increase staff levels to 300 by 2015, was originally conceived as another studio to make big titles. But according to studio director Martin Carrier, Warner decided that it needed a studio that specialized in social games instead, so repurposed the Montreal office.
Warner Bros. Montreal will make games for iPhones and iPads, Android smart phones, and Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. The games the studio produces will have much smaller budgets than triple A games, and price tags no more than twenty dollars. As well as the downloadable titles, the Montreal studio will also work on a kid-friendly MMO, and is looking into the possibility of bringing characters from DC Comics to Facebook.
Carrier thought that casual games were considered to be less "prestigious" than their triple A cousins, which is likely what surprised/upset staff so much, but said that the market was growing very quickly. He thought that thanks to the "democratization" of videogames, a casual game had the potential to be more profitable than an expensive blockbuster title.