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David Jaffe leaving  Twisted Metal  dev Eat Sleep Play to open new studio
David Jaffe leaving Twisted Metal dev Eat Sleep Play to open new studio
February 7, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Twisted Metal development studio Eat Sleep Play has laid off part of its workforce, while co-founder and industry veteran David Jaffe is reportedly leaving the company.

The Salt Lake City-based company has finished development of Twisted Metal, which is due for release next week -- a game which Jaffe says is "meant to engage your brain."

However, the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper reports that Eat Sleep Play has laid off eight of its employees, while also switching to development of mobile games rather than console games as it has produced previously. Gamasutra has contacted Eat Sleep Play to confirm the details of the layoffs.

Company co-founder Scott Campbell explained the attraction of games on mobiles. "It's a platform that is in our pockets almost 24/7," he said. "It's kind of the size and types of games we're playing... You can certainly reach a lot more people. That’s pretty exciting for us."

He also reportedly stated that Jaffe is expected to leave the company to make casual games, noting, "He's excited to go into the casual space as well. He's got some projects that he's excited about. So we're kind of going down two separate paths."

However, Jaffe explained via Twitter, "The rumors of me making casual games post TM - as many of you define them - are highly exaggerated."

[Update: Jaffe has now eleborated on his plans via Twitter, stating, "I have zero plans to make games like Farmville and Angry Birds. I never said what I was doing post TM (and I'm still on TM along with ESP for the next months as we launch it and balance it in real time and make sure it's a perfect game and continue to support it)."

"At the same time I will be opening a game studio here in San Diego because I really miss internal game development."

He then continued, "I was not laid off. I co-own the company. There were a few lay offs and they were very painful to do for all involved. I'm leaving because - again - games are just getting too big to direct from 300 miles away & I miss the day to day of working direct with a team."

He explained that he'll be leaving the company somewhere between 1.5-3 month's time, while adding that he'll be looking to develop "big, huge next gen game ideas I'd love for us to make, as well as cool stuff in the browser space" with his new company.]

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David Marcum
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You have a gaffe in this story.

"Update: Gaffe has now eleborated on his future plans..."

Kris Graft
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Indeed, that was a Jaffe gaffe.

Joe E
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Kudos to Jaffe. He could have gone up the Sony corporate ladder like nothing, but you can tell he's still in it for the love of the game. Can't wait to see what he comes up with in the social/mobile space (and anybody still thinking those are not serious platforms for serious games, welcome to 2012)

Blackjack Goren
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The mobile/social "space" may be great platforms for making money, but their limitations in raw power and user interface will always limit the type of deep, complex, engaging games that can only be developed and enjoyed on the latest and greatest hardware. I don't see the "nothing" part of your argument. If I wanted to improve, evolve or revolutionize from games like Skyrim, GTAIV, Red Dead or Fallout 3, or an input-heavy game like Street Fighter or Steel Battalion (as opposed to 16-bit 2D platformers or simple puzzle games), why would I ever enter the social space? Wouldn't I be better off working on studios that focus on AAA console and PC games to satisfy my cravings?

My point is not all developers love to one day make simple social and mobile games for a living. Many find their passion fullfilled working on projects that could only be realized through the expertise and talent of well over dozens or hundreds of people working towards one ambitious experience that demands the most powerful hardware, be it the best one available in the console space, or the ever improving PC.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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"Eat Sleep Play has laid off eight of its employees"

Typical "congrats" for a job well done. Don't even wait to see how sales are going to do, just trim the fat. Hopefully some of that talent can have a minimal stress transition to Jaffe's new studio.

Geoffrey Mackey
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I have to agree, what a slap in the face to the employee's. I sure hope Jaffe picks them up.

Sergey Sagan
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Layoffs are just part of business, sometimes you have to do what is unfavorable to keep the company profitable...


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Jeffrey Crenshaw
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Then refusing to crunch toward layoffs, striking to do so, and blacklisting companies that treat their employees like cogs so we can reverse the power structure of this industry to make developers happier, wealthier, and more in control of their art is just a part of business too. Sometimes you have to do what is hard to keep your career stable.

Ruben Cordeiro
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Jaffe is a nice dude (implying that I know him personally), I believe he loves and respects the medium.