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Starbreeze lays off 25 just days before  Syndicate 's release
Starbreeze lays off 25 just days before Syndicate's release
February 17, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

February 17, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Swedish developer Starbreeze has reportedly laid off 25 workers, shortly after the completion of its upcoming Syndicate reboot and days before Electronic Arts is scheduled to release the game.

It's a significant reduction for the independent studio -- before the cut, while Starbreeze was finishing Syndicate, it employed 93 workers. It's been shrinking since early last year, when the company had a staff of about 120.

Along with these layoffs, Peter Tornquist, who has served as chairman for Starbreeze's board of directors for several years, has resigned.

This cutback follow several layoffs and closures in recent months for game developers right before they shipped a title or right after a title's launch, such as WB Games Seattle after Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and KMM Brisbane before Happy Feet Two.

"It is sad that we are forced to make staff cutbacks affecting employees. But we have to reduce staff after the final delivery of the Syndicate," said Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark, according to a report from [registration required].

Founded in 1998, the developer is best known for releasing first-person shooters like The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick franchise. Next week, its FPS reboot of classic isometric tactical series Syndicate releases for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Nermark told Gamasutra in a recent interview that one of Starbreeze's current games in development is a self-funded project based on an original IP -- a departure for the company, which has only released titles based on others' properties so far.

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Lyon Medina
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I believe this just mean they don't have another title in development so they have no need to keep everyone on the payroll. I hope the Syndicate does well so they can re-hire.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Gil Salvado
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Looks pretty much like they don't have a publisher for a new project.

Vladimir Kuksenko
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Whats the significance behind laying off employees just days BEFORE shipping? Do they lose out on any opportunities?

Doug Poston
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Like most of the people on this thread already said, it probably just means they don't have a big project lined up after Syndicate.

As much as it sucks to be let go right after working your ass off for a big project, if the company doesn't have new work lined up for you then it's hard to justify paying people to sit around.

Very few people get end-of-project bonuses outside of vacation time, so they're probably not doing this to avoid paying bonuses.

Achilles de Flandres
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Producer: Hey is that game done?

Development Team: Yep! Be in stores next week!

Producer: Good. You're fired.

Mark Harris
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Management in every industry everywhere : Do we have the upcoming revenue projected to support our costs?

Data: No.

Management in every industry everywhere : Kthnxbai. Need to cut costs.