Aspyr trims staff by 50%?

Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition publisher said to have laid off more than half its workforce in November.

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Source: Industry news site Big Download.

What we heard: Yesterday, the NPD Group reported sales were down compared to last year in November, the eighth out of nine consecutive months his year. With revenue across the board slipping, it's no surprise that 2009 has seen a number of publishers and developers cut their workforce, ranging from Electronic Arts and Activision to Harmonix and Funcom, to name but a few.

The latest industry player to stumble under the weight of the overarching economic climate appears to be Austin, Texas-based Aspyr Media. Big Download reports this week that it has received information indicating that Aspyr has laid off over 50 percent of its workforce. The headcount reduction apparently occurred in November.

The Ultimate Sith Edition was on many critics' Dark Side.

It is unclear how large of a workforce Aspyr maintained before the purported layoffs, though Big Download's source noted that only a handful of employees remain. It is also unclear whether the alleged staff cuts have impacted any projects currently under way at the company.

Aspyr is perhaps best known for its less-than-stellar ports of a variety of noteworthy titles. Most recently, the publisher released the critically Force-choked PC edition of LucasArts' Star Wars The Force Unleashed. Aspyr has also handled porting duties on Dark Sector, Supreme Commander, Civilization IV, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as well as released original games such as Dreamkiller and Necrovision.

The official story: Aspyr had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Given Aspyr's silence on the matter, it seems likely that some form of shake-up has occurred. However, with not much information to go by either way, it remains unclear just how big or impactful said staff reductions were.

Discussion

28 comments
bostjanzoot
bostjanzoot

That's sad... If it helps, ZootFly is hiring all art and programming positions for an AAA title. Work based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Info: career@zootfly.com

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Aspyr should go out of business completely after making horrible ports. These people haven't even fixed Dark Sector yet even though it has obvious problems from the very start with resolution. Their patch for SWTFU was also a giant mess and that damn game sucks up over 20gig of your hard drive. How about putting the damn cut scenes on the freaking disc next time? That way you'll save space and it'll run considerably better and you'll reduce piracy as well. No game company should ever hire these people ever again. Any game with Aspyr on it equates to low quality.

Onzieme
Onzieme

Lessons learned? Best of luck in your future endeavors guys & for the ones who stay: Start throwing some quality work our way instead of the current piss & you'll get our money to hire your laid off colleagues back in no time.

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

I did hear the force unleashed wasn't properly optimized, but since the key people that made aspyr what it use to be, I'm thinking that they will shut down. Since they didn't do great besides publishing dreamfall in NA their GBA ports, console to computer ports, I guess this really means the end.

RicardoZagada
RicardoZagada

Maybe in the release date, SWTFU was not complete and instead of excuse and postpone the release like anyone would do... they released the game along with the famous frameskip of 10 instead of 60fps! I agree... they should fire anyone who makes decisions in there, but everyone knows that the CEO will not fire himself and the guilt falls always on the small employees.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

a company who can't port and makes their own crappy pc games? and they're only laying off employees? didn't grin get shut down in a year? their games weren't winners either but they were better than the pc port of SWTFU. granted, after the first MASSIVE patch, they fixed a lot of the bugs and the game is now playable but its still more quirky and clunky than the 360 version, and there's still load screens between MENUS. but who's really to blame: aspyr or the morons who keep outsourcing to them instead of doing the work themselves? Lucas Arts is no stranger to creating great star wars games for the PC. so why hand the task to aspyr instead of just porting the 360 version to PC? If capcom can get devil may cry 4 AND resident evil 5 on the pc in all their glory, why cant lucas arts do the same with their games? it doesnt make any sense. this is bad business.

Terdog
Terdog

Good, I hate Aspyr. They do lousy PC ports for every game I have ever played of theirs.

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

"Who plays games on the mac?" People who didn't leave apple in the early 90s and people who still play Diablo 2 and Marathon and DOOM3 mods in there sleep. Anywho... Judging by what I've read from users, aspyrs job porting console to windows and Macintosh games hasn't had the positives that they had with porting windows to macintosh back in aspyrs hay day in the late 90s. I remember playing deus ex, and tomb raider II on os 9. Great ports.

ropumar
ropumar

Ports don't make money... lesson learned

SEEDman_X
SEEDman_X

That's just too bad. I like that company....

Richard7666
Richard7666

Maybe if they bothered to do quality ports, they wouldn't be in this mess? Maybe they should just fire and replace their team leaders and decision makers, who the fault would lie with.

remysola
remysola

Terrible for Aspyr employees however...But looking the PC port of SWTFU uff is predictable.

91210user
91210user

Who's Aspyr and 50% job cuts is the most painful think I've heard yet.

91210user
91210user

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Night_dude
Night_dude

of course that was so predictable to happen

TerroRizing
TerroRizing

they couldnt even port guitar hero properly, freaking guitar hero that runs fine on a ps2!

RicardoZagada
RicardoZagada

Several months wating for a new version of SWTFU for PC, and I get to buy this piece of junk?! Seriously, "lousy port jobs are bad company image", keep that in mind. The problem is that it isn´t the first time that Aspyr screws up BIG TIME.

Syaz1
Syaz1

sorry, but if you make lousy product, you get lousy revenue. that's business for you, especially during the recession, even if loosing your job sucks.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Oh, good, hopefully they go under so they don't get to make anymore half assed ports ever again.

Targzissian
Targzissian

I remember how upset I was back in the early nineties after the bad port of Ultima VI from the IBM to the Amiga platform. I'm just saying, if you're going to port a game, you had better do a good job of it.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

Who plays games on the mac? Can't you just boot camp windows and then buy the pc version of it. There is no reason to pay $50 for a game when you can buy the pc version for half the price.

oneligas
oneligas

They shouldn't of fired these employees they should be forced replay the "bring down the star destroyer sequence" over and over and over again.

SunDestroyeur
SunDestroyeur

Aspyr was great at the time they made River City Ransom but now they aren't anything.

radwimp
radwimp

Force Unleashed was the worst port I have ever played in my life. They should be ashamed.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Never even heard of this developer. They only do ports? Bad ones apparently.

XanderKage
XanderKage

Aspyr should lay off 100% of the staff. All they do is make bad PC ports - they need to go away.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Was a fun game but way to short to be epic..Games shouldnt be 10 hours long im sorry..You spend five years making this game..Looking forward to it you brag about every thing..Its 10 hours..Need more hours for my games..Just was a pure let down..Look at dragon age great game-play made up for graphics, also had long sessions of game..If it had been over 100 hours id have kept the game instead of bringing it back..Cant stand when companies go that rt..

squidracerX
squidracerX

Necrovision... i played the demo, seemed like it had the right idea, but wrong execution... i mean especially in this climate you make sub-par games you are going to lose money; at least they are still in business...