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Gazillion Confirms Layoffs At Romero-Led MMO Dev Slipgate Ironworks
Gazillion Confirms Layoffs At Romero-Led MMO Dev Slipgate Ironworks
October 16, 2009 | By Chris Remo

October 16, 2009 | By Chris Remo
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    16 comments
More: Console/PC



Slipgate Ironworks, the California-based MMO development studio founded by id Software veteran John Romero, has undergone a round of layoffs and a change in project focus, as directed by parent company Gazillion Entertainment.

Gazillion confirmed reports of the layoffs to Gamasutra, although the company declined to specify the number of jobs lost. The design and scope of the game has been accordingly pared down.

"As part of our focus on reaching the widest possible audiences with breakthrough MMO entertainment, we decided to change the format of our project at Slipgate Ironworks to better achieve this aim," a Gazillion representative told Gamasutra in a statement.

"The game we'll launch will build on the efforts to date with a smaller core team and the other Slipgate staff are already in discussions around the many open positions across our slate of projects."

Romero, a prominent member of the game development community since his involvement with Doom, established the studio in 2005 soon after leaving Midway. Although certain technical details about Slipgate's planned MMO, such as its usage of the BigWorld development suite, were made public, gameplay details have not been discussed.

Earlier this year, Gazillion revealed its late 2008 acquisition of Slipgate. The MMO-oriented publisher also owns Colorado-based NetDevil (Jumpgate Evolution, Lego Universe) and California-based Gargantuan.

Though weblog Kotaku suggested that around 50 staffers might have been let go, Gazillion's statement today offered no concrete explanation of the company's scope change or plans. But the publisher did suggest it will begin releasing titles next year: "2010 will be an exciting year for Gazillion as we bring several groundbreaking MMOs to markets worldwide," the statement reads.


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Comments


Wolf Wozniak
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This might be an odd time to bring this up, they they stole their logo.





http://iwritethings.net/portfolio/graphics/hammers.png

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

Maurício Gomes
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I guess that they are finishing the game... Romero told me today that there are progress...

But dunno, maybe it was a stock awnser to people bugging him :P

Maurício Gomes
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Altough I don't trade e-mails with him, I see where you are going.

Giuseppe Navarria
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Romero is an awesome guy, hope he manage to get the thing done right this time

Maurício Gomes
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@Giuseppe



I agree with you!



In fact I think that Mr. Gomez agree too, he knows that both me and Romero are awesome...



Altough obviously Romero is more awesome than me.

Thomas Grove
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zing!

Reid Bathgate
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Sucks for the people who got laid off.

Maurício Gomes
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@Gomez



You are so nice, you insult 4 people in a single message! Great! You must be a lovely boss (you are a producer, aren't you?).



IF for some reason I exchanged e-mail with Roberta or people like Richard Garriot, or Chris Crawford, I would think that indeed it is awesome, maybe they don't have recent groundbreaking games, but what they did in the past is already great.



And I have no idea who David Perry is beside that he has several sites and wrote a book (that I want btw...).



I look forward in working with you Mr. Gomez, the guy that made a game that is more awesome and popular than Wolf3D and Doom, since he thinks that he is above Romero. Or he can write better than Roberta. Maybe he made a good book too?



You know, indeed I don't made anything yet, but I think that you have no right to level me with Romero and Roberta, they did great stuff that you didn't (neither me).





And finally, I make my words the words from Mark on the penultimate comment on this thread: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25302

Simon Carless
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Gomez: I've contacted you about using your real name on the site. [EDIT: And your email address you signed up with no longer exists, so that would be a problem.] We find it aids transparency and stops flamewars if people use their real name while posting. And if that _is_ your real name, my apologies to you and Mrs. Crumpett.

Dan Saundberg
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It's always sad to see people getting layoff. The economy is though right now. I'm thinking about moving to Canada, it's the only place that is showings signs of sustained growth in the game industry.

Kevin Patterson
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Layoffs are never something to joke about.

I wish the best for Romero, and would love to see him release something special.

I wish people would think before posting hurtful rhetoric.

Mark Morrison
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The layoffs stink! Romero has always tried to give the game community something positive and creative in my opinion. We can't all be bean counters. Some of us have to actually make games and try to innovate.



And, Gomez. Oh Mr. Crumpett, how I wish you would unveil yourself. It would be nice to have more "real" people here who share similar experience/insights.

Tim Innes
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I talked with John Romero last GDC. Good guy. He didn't have to take the time to BS about stuff with me, but he did for over an hour at night by the traffic. He was excited about the projects. I've also exchanged email with Perry, nice guy, so why bash 'em if they are doing different things these days?



Back to topic; Very sorry to hear about the layoff. Affects me too; now i have even more talented people competing with me for a job! :-O But seriously, that layoff is unexpected since i have seen many job descriptions pop up - them hiring regularly --> (been looking for SCRUM Master Producer/PM forever).



One sad thing is everyone is excited to see what is being cooked up. The idea of scaling back, or changing focus (free to play perhapes?!?) is a bummer. I'd like to see what his original ideas were swimming in John's head. Also, he was backed by some big venture capital, so even that seems to have its limits.

Jay Simmons
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I'm curious to how John Romero raises capital for these startup companies he forms. I don't doubt he's a nice guy and a victim of marketing miss steps ("Daikatana making us his bitches") but after so many failed projects/companies how does he secure his financial backing? It can't still based on his Doom 1/2 cred. Anybody know this because I'd really like to know if its his salesman ship, personality, voodoo, etc.

Maurício Gomes
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@Jay



He did lots of other games that are unknown to us, like serious, advergames, and that sorts of stuff... I believe that he grab the money from there and use it to make the more marketed AAA games.


none
 
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