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Layoffs loom at Radiant Worlds after  SkySaga  development halts

Layoffs loom at Radiant Worlds after SkySaga development halts

August 22, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

Developer Radiant Worlds is weighing the unfortunate possibility of “a large number” of layoffs at its UK-based studio after development on its game SkySaga: Infinite Isles was paused indefinitely at the behest of its publisher. 

With development stalled, Radiant Worlds was unable to renew its contract with its publishing partner Smilegate Entertainment, effectively cutting the studio off from its only income source and putting every position within the development house in jeopardy. 

Leadership is currently in the process of consulting with its existing staff, though the developer notes that the process is likely to result in “a large number” of layoffs that could potentially affect every Radiant Worlds employee. 

“We were extremely shocked and saddened to hear Smilegate's decision. Despite an extended period of negotiation, this came as a total shock to us, especially as we continue to believe the game has enormous potential,” said Radiant Worlds CEO Philip Oliver.

“We have been 100 percent dedicated to developing SkySaga for Smilegate for several years but since there is no prospect of obtaining enough replacement business within a realistic timeframe, we have been left with no option but to notify our staff of the intended consultancy period today."

While the studio’s future is now uncertain, COO Richard Smithies notes that the business itself is not in any immediate danger and that, despite looming layoffs, the studio is “in a strong financial position and has the ability to meet all of our statutory and contractual obligations to all staff and external suppliers.”

“This is not an insolvency situation,” continues Smithies. “We are totally committed to doing whatever we can to support everyone involved."

SkySaga: Infinite Isles was set to be the first game created by Radiant Worlds after the studio rose out of the ashes of founders Philip and Andrew Oliver’s previous operation, Blitz Games Studios in 2013. The pair partnered with former Blitz COO Richard Smithies to bring the studio to life, initially employing a staff of 50 to work on its Minecraft-like title. 

As always, if you or someone you know has been affected by these layoffs, you can email Gamasutra to share your story confidentially. 

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