Krome confirms staff, studios "on notice"

Undisclosed number of staff and at least one studio on four-week lifeline; future remains undecided pending outcome of projects; current development not affected.

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The Aussie game development industry was buzzing with rumours yesterday concerning the fate of one of Australia's largest and most successful game development studios, Krome. Although unconfirmed at that stage, it was reported that Krome had shut down its Adelaide studio and laid off a significant portion of staff at its Melbourne and Brisbane studios.

Things looking shaky for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Wii and PS2 devs.

Today, Krome confirmed that the future is indeed dire.

In a statement to GameSpot AU, the studio blamed the challenging economic outlook faced by the local industry and confirmed it has put an undisclosed number of staff on notice pending the outcome of several of its projects.

"As we have seen by other recent announcements, the games industry is still going through economic challenges which Krome is not immune from. These times are challenging and as a result, we have put some of our staff on notice pending the outcome of a number of upcoming projects," the statement said.

"It is important to note that this action has not affected the development of our current projects, both announced and unannounced, which we are continuing to work on. Additionally, Krome remains firmly committed to the future of all three studios."

Despite yesterday's rumours, Krome has not actually closed its Adelaide studio--the studio remains on a four-week notice period, and its future will be decided at the end of this period.

This is not the first time Krome has been forced to make drastic changes in response to economic pressures. The studio first made staff cuts in November last year across its three studios in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne, and again in April this year. Throughout its history, Krome has developed a number of high-profile games, including Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Wii, PlayStation 2, and PSP; The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night for the Wii and PS2; Viva Pinata: Party Animals; and the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series, which has sold more than 2 million copies.

Discussion

23 comments
3yeman
3yeman

i wanted a new Ty Game T^T

digi-demon
digi-demon

@dynomitemasta 'current gen games just cost too much to make.... look for this gen to last a lot longer than it should.' No IMO all generations should have lasted min. 8/10 years - as usually take this long to get the best out of the hardware (especially Sony's).

Di3oxide
Di3oxide

Man I wanted to work der:(

penpusher
penpusher

@jamyskis yeah i agree cause its really cheap to make games these days and theres next to no competition out there ... the stereo type that all major buisnesses are plagued by miss-management and greed is just that, a stereo type. The gaming industry is tough and with the economic problems we're having at the moment people are tight with their purse strings. Its alright for the biggest studios like bungie or blizzard who have multi-million selling games but for those that dont its tough and a bad year can doom them.

netin2005
netin2005

I enjoy the 'Ty - The tasmanian Tiger' franchise.

mellow09
mellow09

Tough break on people who decided to be game devs, seems rather bleak.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

current gen games just cost too much to make.... look for this gen to last a lot longer than it should.

jamyskis
jamyskis

It's regrettable, but why is every studio blaming the economy for their woes? About 60-70% of studio shutdowns are nothing to do with 'economic challenges', just poor financial management, poor quality control and greed.

XanderZane
XanderZane

They really haven't moved on to the next-gen. So besides Viva Pinata and Ty, they haven't released anything significant to earn them a sizable profit. With so many different games out on the market and the recession still in full gear, game companies have to make games that stand out. Perfect examples are Heavy Rain, LPB, ModNation, Gears of War, Call of Duty and even new comers like Bioshock, Dead Space, Dead Rising and Red Dead Redemption . these games stand out in some way and draw gamers attention. Sorry, but games like Spyro on the PS2 is not going to cut it. Even if it was on the PS3/XBox 360, it would be a hit. Krome really needs their own IP. Even simple games like Limbo and Lara Croft: Guardian of the Light take a fresh look at an old genre.

vadicta
vadicta

Man, I really liked Ty back in the day. But, yeah. They're main problem was that they couldn't evolve beyond last gen, and they've had plenty of time to do so. You can't support three studios off play station 2 revenues. Although, viva Pinata: Party Animals probably helped them out in the beginning. They should've stuck with that. They make a Ty game for the Wii, though, and they'd probably be able to keep their heads above the water for now.

willyfoureyes
willyfoureyes

This doesn't bode well for Blade Kitten. I'm almost thoroughly convinced that if that game comes out and underperforms, it's gonna be the one blamed for Krome's collapse.

GreenNamek18
GreenNamek18

@moose_knuckler You're thinking of the wrong Clone Wars game. Clone Wars: Republic Heroes was all about the jumping to precarious ledges without the game throwing you into a pit for no reason.

moose_knuckler
moose_knuckler

@GreenNamek I find it hard to see how Clone Wars was annoying. How are you going to criticize them on jumping mechanics when you were on-foot for about 5% of the game?

Evolution-X0
Evolution-X0

They developed game room too, which is still putting out crappy overpriced 2600 and intellivision games, no arcades for at least a month now. This company needs to be DESTROYED or at least go into administration.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Is Canada the only Commonwealth nation to not make crappy games?

GreenNamek18
GreenNamek18

Is anyone really surprised? Clone Wars was abysmal at worst and annoying at best. When your dev team can't even hammer out jumping mechanics in a game, it's time to let them go.

sacklunch
sacklunch

Krome is a studio that seems to have never left the PS2 era. None of their current gen offerings have been steller. I hope those made redundant are able to find work soon.

axeman87
axeman87

That sucks. Australia needs all the gaming activity it can get.

xXCombatWombat
xXCombatWombat

They did develop Game Room, i wonder if its going to be impacted by these layoffs.

Pochikirimichi
Pochikirimichi

Awwwwww the Ps2 version of SW TFU was my favourite one.

duhNeighbour
duhNeighbour

Aren't they also the developers to Xbox GameRoom?