It is true.
Elemental's revenue was anticipated to provide the revenue both for our main games team's next project as well as a second team. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen so we've had to start laying people off.
No one is being fired. None of these people did anything wrong. Stardock is a small company and each person here is truly amongst the best and brightest. So you can imagine how much it sucks for all of us to lay off anyone. We haven't had to lay anyone off since our migration from the OS/2 market in 1998. It would be great if we can bring as many of these people back over time if the studio can afford it.
No one involved on the core components of Elemental is affected.
Elemental's rocky launch can be summed up (IMO) as follows: Our QA process was insufficient to handle a brand new platform (Elemental = Kumquat 1.0 versus say Galactic Civilizations II was using Pear which was the same engine, modified, from 1997's Entrepreneur) + my own catastrophic poor judgment in not objectively evaluating the core game play components.
Saturday - September 04, 2010
Stardock - Layoffs? [Updated]
Shack is reporting layoffs at Stardock, though I hasten to point out staffing realignments aren't uncommon when a project ships:
Shacknews has received an anonymous tip claiming that several employees of Stardock, developers of the recently released Elemental: War of Magic were let go today in a round of layoffs.
Those let go included developers, designers, and salespeople working on Elemental. The tipster, supposedly one of those laid off, claims that the layoffs were due to Elemental's "disastrous launch". Though post-launch layoffs are common in this industry, it sounds like these cuts were due to the game's launch and reception.
[Update] And it's true, according to Brad Wardell himself:
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