Starbreeze is marking the end of the long and arduous development of Syndicate by firing 25 people.
There aren’t very many businesses I’m aware of that say “thanks for a job well done” with a handshake and a pink slip, but it’s pretty much a staple of the mainstream videogame industry. The latest example is Swedish developer Starbreeze, which recently wrapped up development on the upcoming EA shooter Syndicate, in the works since 2007, by giving the boot to 25 people.
“It is sad that we are forced to make staff cutbacks affecting employees,” Starbreeze CEO Mikael Mermark said. “But we have to reduce staff after the final delivery of the Syndicate.”
Peter Tornquist, who has served as the Chairman of the Board at Starbreeze since November 2007, is also leaving the company and will not be replaced.
It’s a sad state of affairs, but this is the normal mode of operation for the game industry today: bulk up for a project, work people like dogs and then cut them loose. id Software did it following the release of Rage, Obsidian cut staff after Fallout: New Vegas was done and THQ Vice President Danny Bilson called layoffs at Volition and Kaos Studios a “normal cycling of game teams,” shortly before closing Kaos and handing the Homefront IP to Crytek. It was actually newsworthy when BioWare announced that it wouldn’t lay off employees following the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Anyway, enough negativity – Syndicate comes out on February 21 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. We wish all the best to everyone who’s been left unemployed as a result.