Layoffs at Defiance dev - Report

Trion Worlds confirms job cuts as part of company reorganization, says 80 percent layoff figure "definitely exaggerated"; development on Rift, future titles unaffected.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Trion Worlds representative confirmed the cuts as part of a company reorganization. Development on Rift and the studio's other games is unaffected moving forward.

The representative also pointed out that the 80 percent layoff figure is "definitely exaggerated."

"To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering," the Trion Worlds representative said. "With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy.

"As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features," the statement goes on. "Rift, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of Rift and are excited by the other new titles currently in development."

The original story follows below

Defiance developer Trion Worlds enacted a round of major layoffs today, according to sources speaking with IGN. The site has heard that as much as 80 percent of the company has been let go.

The bulk of the layoffs reportedly came at Trion Worlds' San Diego, California outfit, where Defiance is in development. A source added that senior leaders may not receive severance packages due to "undelivered services."

The layoff rumors come a week after SyFy ordered a second season of Defiance the TV show and Trion Worlds laid out extensive downloadable content plans for the game.

Defiance has more than 1 million registered players.

Trion Worlds also has US offices in Redwood Shores, California and Austin, Texas. In addition, the company operates a studio in London, England.

Trion Worlds could not be reached for comment at press time.

In addition to Defiance, Trion Worlds is currently developing End of Nations and fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game Rift, which will go free-to-play next month. The company is also co-developing Warface with Crytek.

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Discussion

64 comments
kyphe
kyphe

working on a game is like working on a construction project, when its done they do not need you any more and you move on. However your pay reflects the fact that you spend time out of work and you are expected to budget for those times and not think you are loaded every time your paycheck goes in the bank.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Gah, every time I see this screenshot, I think it's for a new MX vs ATV... 

moncealyo
moncealyo

I just couldn't get into the defiance show.  It wasn't very good.  I think they should stop tiring to do the whole mmo thing and focus on making cool fantasy and sci-fi single player games.  

MN121MN
MN121MN

Well, I guess you can put that up as the other side of F2P victims......

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

It has it's share of bugs, and the game certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel with what it offers, but what it does do, it does well, and is definitley fun to play. If you like Borderlands to any extent, I can't imagine you not liking Defiance more than just a little. There is actually a good amount of things incorporated into Defiance that I think would have made Borderlands 2 a bit more engaging. Like actual character customization, and ambient missions. Also, I haven't watched the show.

tionmedon
tionmedon

buying the game keeps ppl working....................

holhardy
holhardy

hope this no effect game

surrealme
surrealme

Trion at this point has pretty well established that when they ship a product they lay off a good portion of the development staff that was working on it, paring down to just what they need for content updates and maintenance. They did the same thing when they shipped Storm Legion. It sucks for the artists and programmers who get the boot, but this is pretty standard practice in the industry these days. It's not necessarily indicative of financial troubles. They just don't want to pay anyone they don't currently need.

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

We're firing senior programmers under conditions so unexpected or hostile that severance packages are being cancelled, but everything's just fine, don't you worry!

neroist
neroist

I am worried if this will effect ArcheAge or not?


theblackfrog
theblackfrog

kotaku wrote that its not 80% and ign articles sux :P

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

hope those employees find jobs right away

WantYouBad
WantYouBad

It's funny how companies I've never heard of and never played their games keep going under.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

this is too bad but I'm not surprised really due to the game having a ton of issues at launch and the game itself not really having enough content to suit most experenced mmo players this sort of thing was to be expected sadly...

jeremy-
jeremy-

You can buy a cdkey of this game for about $40 dollars which makes the title pretty reasonably priced.I think its a nice little buy if you like FPS, sci fi or group MMO content.

stailcookie
stailcookie

The show has been a gigantic disappointment.  They are planning for minimal additional sales and negligible microtransactions.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

just bought this game. in the mail now. CANT WAIT! the early reviews are crap. Everything I have read is the game is ten times better than the crap reveiws. The servers sucked when the game was reviews and the game already a MASSIVE patch that has fixed many bugs.  

JACOBDRAGON666
JACOBDRAGON666

I undertsand defiance isnt great right now but you dont cut a game off before it can get better.

Khasym
Khasym

This was a good idea(blending video game story, and television show story) that just wasn't ready for this generation of consoles and PC's. The show's fine, but the game is wayyyyyyy too shoddy to be linked to the show. Moreover, maybe it's just from what I experienced in the beta, but the game is holding itself back. There were far greater enemies in the Defiance universe than what the game delivered. The show has a few Hellbug moments, but it's not "Invasion of the Space Insects" the way it is in the game. E-Reps, the Voulge, Spirit Riders, psycho cultists.....those are cool unpredictable enemies. But the game feels like a different version of Aliens Colonial Marines.

Umitencho
Umitencho

That game is crap. I feel sorry for the show.

focuspuller
focuspuller

Like the game but most of those devs are terrible workers, for that particular game.

UdderJuice
UdderJuice

Both the show and the game are decent but together they make an intriguing package, the sum of which is more than its parts.  The game has flaws but is awesome fun.  I'm just speculating here but I bet the layoffs are people who worked on the base game and are responsible for its rough edges at launch.  The people they kept will work on future content and patches.  I hope they don't let this game die.  Its an original concept and is the most ambitious thing to be released of its kind cross-platform.

ecurl143
ecurl143

@kyphe That might work for contract workers who expect 6-12 months work and at the end of it, they get the boot but it shouldn't work like that with full time staff with all the fringe benefits that go with the job + when you're a full time employee, you get consultation & compensation payments etc.

Not sure if that's the case with these guys are not - I hope so though.


Caldrin
Caldrin

@moncealyo I am really enjoynig the show one of the better sci-fis of recent years..

I dont think Trion should focus on single player games its not somthing they have really done before.. they have only done MMOS basically. Defiance the game is nothing special but its ok for a blast now and then..

Soleride
Soleride

@DinoBuster The show is okay but could be a little bit darker and more gloomy as the environments reflect that but not so much the characters, but i think the game has done the TV Show much justice so far

AmnesiaHaze
AmnesiaHaze

@tionmedon well in this case people were getting fired once people started buying the game :)

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@jeremy- $40, eh?  That's a lot better than the $60 price I've seen around.  At that price I may try it.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

@jeremy- Except that it's not a FPS, barely passes as sci-fi and it's not an MMO so much as it's an online, massively co-operative shooter.

insanem0nk
insanem0nk

@stailcookie show is not THAT bad, ppl just have to compare every friggin new scifi show to firefly and bsg. 

emerin76
emerin76

@inaka_rob I've been playing it.  It's ok.  Solo it's ok, better when playing with a friend.  Missions are pretty much same same.  But if you like shooting bad guys mindlessly and  getting new skills/weapons/weapon modifications then it's good.

PlayballK
PlayballK

@inaka_rob I love the game.  It's a lot better than the reviews.  The only review I've seen that really reflects the game experience is the review in Best Buy's most recent @Gamer magazine.  Defiance has been pretty much the only game that I've played over the last month and a half.

kyphe
kyphe

@ecurl143 @kyphe That is exactly what it is like with game development and many other creative fields like TV and movie work,  the project is done you go home, you are typically hired for that job and no one expects to be kept on after their job is done unless they have been told well in advance that they will be kept on as par of the full time staff, you do hope for more work on the next project or expansion however and should expect it if you have given good service. What these layoffs tell us is that we should not expect to much in terms of new content in the dlc as most of it will be using tweeks of existing assets 

WantYouBad
WantYouBad

@leviathanwing @WantYouBad Cant remember the last time I bought a game by THQ.


Oh dear lord we lost the developer of Darksiders, Nicktoons games, Penguins of Madagascar, Red Faction, Spongebob, and WWE whatever shall we do!?

unreal_master
unreal_master

@Heshertonfist @jeremy-mmo

Web definitionsA massively multiplayer online game. A computer game in which a large number of players can simultaneously interact in a persistent world. Just saying.

stailcookie
stailcookie

@insanem0nk @stailcookie It's bad, because there is a huge scifi story introduced in the first episode, but they decided to make a small town western set to look like steampunk and include some technology that's featured like magic rather than being used to form a modern civilization  -  instead of telling it.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

@desauce So not liking this game makes me an asshat? What is an asshat anyway? A belt?

desauce
desauce

@Heshertonfist No, complaining about a game you don't like makes you an asshat. If you don't like a game move alone instead of talking shit about it to people who do like it.