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Foundation 9 Confirms Staff Cuts, Merges Studios

Foundation 9 Confirms Staff Cuts, Merges Studios

July 29, 2009 | By Kris Graft

July 29, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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More: Console/PC

Multi-studio independent developer Foundation 9 (Silent Hill: Homecoming) said that it recently decided to merge and close a number of its studios, resulting in staff cuts as the company adjusts to a challenging market.

The Irvine, Calif.-headquartered company recently told VC-centered website VentureBeat that it merged its two Kirkland, Wash.-based studios, Griptonite and Amaze, which both worked primarily on licensed properties. Griptonite worked mainly on handheld games, while Amaze also worked on console titles.

"Having separate 'console' and 'handheld' studios under the same roof simply didn't make sense in light of the convergence in capabilities of modern game hardware," Foundation 9 said in a statement. Leading the new combined studio is Griptonite's J.C. Connors, the developer said.

Foundation 9 also said that it closed its Austin, Tex.-based studio Fizz Factor. Griptonite and Fizz Factor were part of Foundation 9's 2006 acquisition of the Amaze Entertainment group of game studios.

Also affected is Double Helix Games, where Foundation 9 cut back on staff, Venture Beat said. Double Helix formed in 2007, resulting from the combination of Shiny Entertainment and The Collective. Venture Beat also said Foundation 9 would suspend matching payments in its 401k program.

"It's important to F9 to remain a strong and profitable studio, so that we can continue to provide the best possible services to our publishing partners and employees," the company added in its statement to VentureBeat.

In recent years, Foundation 9 was growing rapidly, thanks to a 2006 deal that granted the developer $150 million in funding from tech investment firm Francisco Partners.

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