Earlier today, reports began to surface that Eidos had laid off up to two dozen workers at its subsidiary Ion Storm, developer of Deus Ex: Invisible War and the just-shipped Thief: Deadly Shadows. Some reports--most notably on Shacknews.com--listed Warren Spector, Ion Storm's founder and lead designer, as among those departing the Austin, Texas-based studio.
However, an Eidos executive contacted by GameSpot denied that Spector had exited the organization. "Warren is still there," he said, but would not elaborate. As to the layoffs, the Eidos exec refused to confirm or deny they had occurred. "With the completion of projects, there is always a review of teams," he said, refusing to comment further.
If proven true, the layoffs at Ion Storm would be more than just the latest example of publishers slashing staff at a developer after the release of a major game. Many would interpret a staff cut at the studio as evidence of Eidos' displeasure at Invisible War's disappointing reception. A Spector departure would have even more serious ramifications, seeing how he is reportedly supervising the all-new--and all-important--latest installment in the Tomb Raider franchise.