San Francisco-based Perpetual Entertainment has allegedly laid off thirty-five of its employees, citing budget issues related to a delay of its MMORPG Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising
, according to an anonymous former employee.
The delay of Gods and Heroes
' release was believed to be an estimated six-to-ten months, and the layoffs are purported to be a cost-saving measure to accomodate this increase in development time. The thirty-five terminations also include several members of Perpetual's other upcoming game, Star Trek Online
Perpetual Entertainment was formed in 2004, when it secured the exclusive worldwide rights from Viacom Consumer Products to develop and publish a massively multiplayer online game based on the Star Trek franchise. In March of 2006, Perpetual entered into an agreement with Sony Online Entertainment
to co-publish another MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising
Today's terminations come despite at least twenty job openings currently posted
on Perpetual's website, and despite Korean-based Gravity Co., Ltd.'s May 22 purchase of 19.2 million shares of the company, for an estimated $9 million dollars. The company previously received
multiple rounds of venture capital investment.
An official statement has been posted
on the God & Heroes
community forums, on behalf of Perpetual president and co-founder Chris McKibbin, which reads as follows:
"As some of you may have heard we have made some staffing changes at Perpetual. We are proud to announce that we are within a month of being content complete on Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, our upcoming AAA MMO title. As we achieve this major development milestone, a number of content production roles come to an end. The Gods & Heroes team remains over 80 talented people strong as we enter the final phase prior to launch -- play-testing and tuning to deliver the highest quality game possible.
In addition, because we value the feedback our beta testers have been giving us, and because we want to ship the highest quality game possible, we have moved our target ship date from the spring to the summer of 2007. This extension of the testing and tuning phase of the project will allow us to focus entirely on making a great game – which is our #1 goal.
Perpetual remains 100% committed to shipping a fantastic Gods & Heroes game and to continuing development of the much-anticipated Star Trek Online."