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Report: THQ's Rainbow, Sandblast Studios See Layoffs
Report: THQ's Rainbow, Sandblast Studios See Layoffs
April 30, 2008 | By Chris Remo

April 30, 2008 | By Chris Remo
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More: Console/PC



According to Gamasutra sources close to the studios in question, publisher THQ has laid off staff at two of its wholly-owned developers, Phoenix, Arizona-based Rainbow Studios and Kirkland, Washington-based Sandblast Games.

The Rainbow layoffs occurred in mid-April, comprising about 30 team members from an unannounced game. According to sources, the production on the project will continue with the reduced staff - and the staff were a minority of the developer's multi-team setup.

Similarly, an unspecified number of layoffs at Sandblast were conducted this week - though it appears that the company will continue work on its current project, Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Founded in 1996 and acquired by THQ in 2001, Rainbow Studios is heavily oriented towards racing games. It created the off-road MX frachise, scored a massive hit in 2006 with the multiplatform adaptation of Pixar's animated film Cars. Currently, the company is working on the Wii-exclusive action game Deadly Creatures, in addition to other unannounced titles.

Sandblast Games was formed in 2002 as Cranky Pants Games. It has developed Evil Dead: Regeneration, based on the cult classic film series, as well as several multiplatform versions of THQ projects.

Earlier this month, several former members of Rainbow formed TimeFly Studios to create original titles; the announcement appears unrelated to today's news.

Gamasutra has contacted THQ representatives for further details regarding the layoffs - no response was received as of press time.


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Comments


Anonymous
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SCEA Sony San Diego has been blasting out a few layoffs as well. Recently last week in cinematics group and a big one back in Oct/Nov 07'... tuff times it seems but so much profit? - Anon

Anonymous
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no one wants to pay western devs anymore. the failure of so many studios mixed with the hard push by thq and others to move into china makes good business sense but is horrible for US and western developers who created this industry.

Anonymous
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Agree! Seems the No.1 future stable game career now is "outsource manager". Pack up the crayola's, cartesian coordinate system and wacom tab it's all about excel. - Anon

Anonymous
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I used to work at Cranky Pants (renamed to Sandblast to disassociate) and this shutdown is long overdue. The studio was run by a total incompetent who was a jerk to the crew and his inability to manage a project led to numerous delays, bugs, and a staff that turned over every few months. Sad to see it go, because you could pick up trained people very quickly who would gain quick experience, polish their skills and then get out. Bout time. This has nothing to do with overseas studios. Maybe ThQ should change their focus from mediocre games to good ones and demand execs who can actually run a company.

Anonymous
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Unfortunately, everything the above poster said is true. In my opinion the straw that broke the team's back was a years worth of mandatory 12 hour days. Sure, there were small breaks from the overtime, but it was a long and grueling grind. Forced crunch while being understaffed and a shifting finish line led to the departure of many of the senior staff. The majority of those left are quite talented and would be a great addition to any dev team.

Anonymous
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Condolences to those affected, sounds like a really hard time. If it helps, Turn 10 is hiring, in the same general vicinity:

http://forzamotorsport.net/news/announcements/turn_10_hiring.htm


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