According to Gamasutra sources, publisher THQ has continued with its previously announced plan
and is enacting major layoffs at Maryland-based Rise Of Nations
developer Big Huge Games.
The news, which was first reported online
at UK website Develop and independently received by Gamasutra, follows a mandatory WARN notice of layoffs sent in recent weeks.
Big Huge Games was founded in 2000 by developers including Civilization II
lead designer Brian Reynolds, and worked on PC RTS titles, notably the Rise Of Nations
series before being purchased by THQ in early 2008.
Its current projects were known to include an RPG game being designed by former Oblivion
co-creator Ken Rolston, and its last released project was a conversion of board game Catan
for Xbox Live Arcade.
Immediately before GDC, THQ announced that, "as part of THQ’s previously announced business realignment and related headcount reduction plans that targeted cost reductions of $220 million... THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future."
It appears that the layoffs do not yet comprise a complete shutdown of Big Huge Games, but Gamasutra will update when official information is available.