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Layoffs at PlayStation fighting game developer Superbot
Layoffs at PlayStation fighting game developer Superbot
January 25, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

January 25, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
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More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



An unknown number of employees were affected by layoffs at Sony-exclusive independent developer Superbot on Friday.

Superbot is the developer behind Sony's fighting game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, which was released simultaneously for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in late November.

While Sony has not revealed sales figures for the game, it is thought to have not sold well, as it did not appear in the NPD Group's top 10 charts. It debuted at number 38 on the UK charts.

The nature of the layoffs was not confirmed either, with Sony merely releasing a statement confirming that "SuperBot Entertainment did make a reduction in their workforce today."

A source close to the situation tells Gamasutra that the affected headcount was over twenty.

Sony did reiterate that support for the game will continue, starting with a DLC pack in February.


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Comments


Nicholas Gatewood
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This is so depressing for me, All-Stars was my favorite game of 2012 by far. I literally just woke up from a dream about All-Stars. In my opinion they made the best fighting game of the past console generation, and because of poor marketing it sold poorly and the staff's being laid off. If there aren't future All-Stars games, I'll only get more and more depressed over it. ;__;

Marc Schaerer
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Problem though is that this only held for very few people.
The game could have done much better if not overhyped that much with them having the nerv to even bring up any parallels to Nintendos Smash Brothers series and if they gave it enough time to really settle to a reasonable experience.

I for example was very disappointed by it as a long term gamer and fan of the SB experience and its obvious that its dev team has not even understood the basics on why SB is so popular, even less the more complex mechanics within the game, when they designed this neutred 'serious fighting game with bad mechanics'

Joe Zachery
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The game sold 80,000 in the first month, and maybe even worst the following month. So without a doubt it as we say on the internet the game "BOMBA" Besides fans not finding the gameplay appealing. This is also goes into the PS3 main problem. Despite all the 1st party exclusive games Sony produce for the console. Their userbase is not buying any of them. Besides Allstars, Little Big Planet Kart, and Wonderbook failed to find an audience. Then you have other games before it like MAG. Sony only games that move units have been Uncharted, and God of War. This is a bigger issue then just one failed attempt.

Marc Schaerer
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LBP Kart is unluckily another great example of 'we thought Nintendo had a great idea, tried to clone it and failed to even get why people play Mario Kart', rolling the same 'we have a great franchise, that surely will sell it to the user base' approach that killed All Stars already. I was shocked by how badly everything was done and how totally overcomplicated controlwise the shallow experience in LBPK was for example.


Sony should focus more on their and their close studio strengths and less on trying to merge successful franchises they have with Nintendos long grown 'casual friendly, simple, hard to master' experiences where they have absolutely zero expertise and where they will not have any kind of successful launch.

It would have made more sense if both these games actually were more limited in scope and designed to grow, so they could launch as PSN titles allowing their respective teams to gather the required experience to expand upon it without the pressure of making back unrealistic amounts of moneys that were wasted on fullblown productions.
Thats also the reach where I think their games could actually be succesful if they don't waste too much hype bucks on it. For example the open betas of both allstar and lbpk both were horrible in quality, nobody who played them and wasn't a fanboy would ever have touched the launched game due to the major problems this late public betas had

Jarod Smiley
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All-stars was on PSN store number 1 and number 2 slots for a while...I don't think sales were all that bad, life-time sales might even break a million with all the deals, it's pretty cheap now and you get the Vita version free...

No Smash brothers, but I quite enjoyed it...and plan to play it for a while in 2013, especially when more characters come...


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