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wester's Avatar
Old (#1)
Although I don't work there as of a couple months ago, I wanted to bring attention to the recent layoffs at Highmoon Studios (Activision). I owe alot of the stuff I've learned to some of the artists at that studio and this news breaks my heart. I was there for 3 years and I met some of the best and most talented people I think I will ever meet.

I really really hope that every single one of the people laid off today will find something good and stable.

http://kotaku.com/activision-lays-of...team-466330803
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Avanthera's Avatar
Old (#2)
Damn, so they were let go after content lock? That really sucks. Good luck to those affected.
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Old (#3)
thanks Wes. It was a great place to call home for a short time Onto new things!
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Old (#4)
Please do not buy or support this game. Everyone one you care about effecting if the game does bad has already been let go. The only people who stand to profit are the scumbags producers and studio heads. If you pay for this game you are only justifying the shit they did today as "ok" and it is not! I am sick and tired or seeing stories like this and nothing is going to change unless we do something about it.
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PogoP's Avatar
Old (#5)
Sorry to hear it guys. This sorta stuff is never nice. Best of luck finding more work.
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D4V1DC's Avatar
Old (#6)
Sad news good luck all hit by this storm.
meh, drinking is bad.
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KyleJensen's Avatar
Old (#7)
Terrible news.

I hope everyone lands on their feet.
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J0NNYquid's Avatar
Old (#8)
That's rough, a lot of good talent there, hopefully everyone lands on their feet.
The answer is 42.

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Old (#9)
Really shitty, sorry to all affected
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Old (#10)
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Originally Posted by Avanthera View Post
Damn, so they were let go after content lock? That really sucks. Good luck to those affected.
I support a free labor market, but canning most of the studio after content lock is a Dick Move(tm). That's not the kind of thing that was done spur of the moment because of a major unforseen fiscal problem. Somebody planned that months ahead of time.
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Justin Meisse's Avatar
Old (#11)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgoth02 View Post
Please do not buy or support this game. Everyone one you care about effecting if the game does bad has already been let go. The only people who stand to profit are the scumbags producers and studio heads. If you pay for this game you are only justifying the shit they did today as "ok" and it is not! I am sick and tired or seeing stories like this and nothing is going to change unless we do something about it.
If I got laid off and the game I worked hard to produce was boycotted that would be a double slap in the face.

I would like to see a website that keeps a searchable database of all the layoffs in the game industry that can show you the odds of getting laid off at certain studios.
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ErichWK's Avatar
Old (#12)
Awful. Awful awful awful. I loved the people when I worked at High Moon. So much talent, so much heart and passion. So much blood and sweat was poured into their games. Activision gave them a shitty situation and they handled it as good as anyone could. I hope The other team will stay safe for a few years, San Diego can't afford to lose more devs. But...this is the Evil Eye of Sauron we are talking about...
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wester's Avatar
Old (#13)
It was unfortunately painfully obvious that it was going to happen. I don't know what I can or can't say as i'm afraid of the assassination ninjas of activision, but they practically told us it was going to happen. Just little things like budget cuts, time cuts, and then them saying "just finish the game as fast as possible".

The team had just come back from comp time after working on deadpool. Either way it is a dick move because we tried as hard as we could with the very short deck of cards we were dealt by activision. As a result of their outdated business model, thinking that rushing a game through production and then cutting it's budget and time at the end...would in anyway profit was silly. And some of the best people (with families) have to pay for it.
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Old (#14)
Shit like this really annoys me, particularly as it seems it was an Activision decision (and I'm sure they aren't struggling for cash thanks to CoD and its endless supply of map packs.

Why not just consolidate the team into smaller teams for the purpose of R&D development? Get some ideas thrown around, focus on smaller ideas for games (mobile/browser-based/Xbox live) and use those as a basis to test new IP's. Minimal risk considering that they would be getting a better estimate on the potential of a new IP for a much smaller overhead rather than just putting millions into a game only to see it sell a mediocre amount.

Investors and their one track minds :|
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ErichWK's Avatar
Old (#15)
Don't forget this is the second game with forced restrictions, time, and budget they put on that poor team... coughtransformersthemoviecough. Budget cuts my ass. That studio has more money than god. Activision doesn't do R&D. They Do Call of Duty, Skylanders, and licensed titles. Blizzard is it's own thing. But the licensed titles are only to show investors they make a bunch of games.
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ambershee's Avatar
Old (#16)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgoth02 View Post
Please do not buy or support this game. Everyone one you care about effecting if the game does bad has already been let go. The only people who stand to profit are the scumbags producers and studio heads. If you pay for this game you are only justifying the shit they did today as "ok" and it is not! I am sick and tired or seeing stories like this and nothing is going to change unless we do something about it.
I lost my previous job during the post Fable: The Journey layoffs. Same shit.

I want people to buy that game. I didn't bust a nut for two years along with some 60 or so other people who also lost their jobs, only to sweep the achievement under the carpet.
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Old (#17)
Yeah, no, it's pretty much known at this point that Activision doesn't like to keep small teams around from other titles and dev teams, they will almost always Lock-n-Layoff you, if you're not part of the 'first' party dev teams working on flag-titles.

Imagine Nintendo and it's Indie relationship in the past with non certified 3rd part dev's, that's how Activision is internally.

Some people get lucky, and their team transition to a 'vouched' IP stance, giving them a chance a long term contract or a permanent position, before being assimilated into another core team.

However, anything outside of those, yeah, it's very much a gamble.

I guess the good thing about it is if you have friends, they will try and get your hired back on the next project, but I'm not sure how many people will like getting bounced back and forth from a high-ride success to unemployment position from the same place mutiple times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgoth02 View Post
Please do not buy or support this game. Everyone one you care about effecting if the game does bad has already been let go. The only people who stand to profit are the scumbags producers and studio heads. If you pay for this game you are only justifying the shit they did today as "ok" and it is not! I am sick and tired or seeing stories like this and nothing is going to change unless we do something about it.
That's a very slipper slope, if people don't buy the game, then the publisher will have no interest to making more, but they will instead sit on the IP.

At the same time, do you really want to sweep years of work under the carpet? What about showing off your work and telling people what title you worked, to garner industry cred?

Then there is the question of having layoffs vs. a total shut down of a team is better or not, since as I said, you can very easily get rehired back if you have the right friends at the time, etc. not to mention, the reinforcement that trying doesn't matter, so as a publish, just don't make other games.

So it's really not so black and white, as much as we would like to think so, not buying a game can potentially cause more issues then solve them in the long term.

Yeah, it's shitty, but maybe peeps who work in the industry, instead of talking and generating drama in places,could focus more on how we can improve the industry not in terms of medium, but how to make our jobs a batter place to work in without fear of losing it? Last I checked, happy dev's make better and more fullfilling games.

Last edited by Ace-Angel; 04-02-2013 at 06:35 PM..
There's a very good chance that I experienced MORE problems, then all the internet put together in the area of 3D. Talk about being original for once...
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wester's Avatar
Old (#18)
The more people who buy these types of games, the more they'll make them. Just my view on this sort of situation.
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Orgoth02's Avatar
Old (#19)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambershee View Post
I lost my previous job during the post Fable: The Journey layoffs. Same shit.

I want people to buy that game. I didn't bust a nut for two years along with some 60 or so other people who also lost their jobs, only to sweep the achievement under the carpet.
This is why this will keep happening over and over again. What you are effectively saying is "It's ok that you work me 60+ hours a week while only paying me for 40, then get rid of the team that made your game possible. I hope that everyone has a plan B for when this industry completely crashes.

When a game that sells 1.5/2 million copies is considered to be a financial failure because it can't recoup it's development cost, what is going to happen with the next round of consoles, where development is expected to take even longer? The industry is becoming unsustainable and to risky for companies to have any bigger budgets.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ays-bleszinski

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/1..._AAA_games.php

Btw I predict layoffs at Crystal Dynamics and Irrational Games in the next few weeks.

Last edited by Orgoth02; 04-02-2013 at 07:21 PM..
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ae.'s Avatar
Old (#20)
sucks to hear transformers was awesome! I hope publishers start realising that these type of games dont make money anymore people expect more nowadays.

hopefully this drives activision and other pubs to focus on less licensed and more original IP.
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ErichWK's Avatar
Old (#21)
Activision doesn't develop new original I.Ps.
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gsokol's Avatar
Old (#22)
Aww man that sucks to hear. I hope everybody let go lands on their feet.
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whats_true's Avatar
Old (#23)
Quote:
Btw I predict layoffs at Crystal Dynamics and Irrational Games in the next few weeks.
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ae.'s Avatar
Old (#24)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErichWK View Post
Activision doesn't develop new original I.Ps.
I know skylanders is not too new but isn't that a new original IP? Also Bungies Destiny game is also a new one even though bungie is not owned by activision.
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DeeKei's Avatar
Old (#25)
So I'm still new to this, but what does content-lock actually mean? I haven't been following the development for deadpool much so yeah.

btw, good luck to the people who got laid off.
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