Layoffs at Rock Band 3 Wii studio

Backbone Entertainment suffers round of layoffs due to "lower demand for conventional console development"; studio will continue to operate at reduced size.

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The studio that developed Rock Band 3 for the Wii and DS has enacted a round of layoffs. Backbone Entertainment parent company Foundation 9 CEO James North-Hearn confirmed the news to GameSpot in a statement, saying a "lower demand" for traditional console games led to the layoffs.

Backbone has taken a hit.

“I regret to announce a round of layoffs at Backbone Entertainment. The studio will continue to operate at a reduced size and will honor its commitments to existing partners," he said. "Due to a lower demand for conventional console development, the studio has made some difficult but necessary adjustments in both its capacity and services, with the goal of matching the changing needs of today's market."

Backbone Entertainment also developed the DS version of Lego: Rock Band, as well as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for Xbox Live, and Death Jr. Root of Evil for Wii. The studio was established in 1992 and is based in Emeryville, California.

Discussion

27 comments
AlexFili
AlexFili

It's silly how they've offered Rock Band Blitz for PS3 and Xbox 360 and then are suddenly surprised when the Wii userbase shrinks. Of course it's going to shrink if there are no new products and no innovations and you offer new products to it's competitors.

 

Rock Band 3 on the DS is a joke. It's got less content and gameplay than Lego Rock Band which was an earlier release. The song choice on portable consoles thus far has been pretty appauling and finally game sales are reflecting this.

 

Whoever is behind Rock Band is fighting a losing battle by cutting Nintendo out in this way, of course if you spend less development time on the Nintendo versions, they will not be anywhere near as popular as the PS3/360 versions. Compare this with Black Ops which has already got a confirmed Wii U version. Nintendo gamers WANT games like this, but if company don't cater to them then they can't enjoy the games they desperately want to play!

tgwolf
tgwolf

It's important to differentiate between layoffs because of waning console demand and layoffs due to waning interest in a stale genre. And, no, consoles are not going anywhere, especially when developers start demanding money for their time.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Good, maybe they should stop making these garbage "music" games. Learn how to play a real instrument and stop acting. Then, get a console not based on gimmicks.

DSkinMasque
DSkinMasque

Sad. The Wii version got me to buy the PS3 version and then the only version you should have the one the xbox360 version.

starfox15
starfox15

Uh... k?

I love my version of RB3 for my Wii. It's a bummer that these guys aren't doing that great, but where have these guys been for the last few years? RB3 came out years ago. If you're a developer and you aren't developing games, I don't think you're going to do very well. If they're the ones behind the downloadable songs for RB3 then that's a bummer, but not altogether unexpected.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

I think they meant "Lower demand for the oversaturated tired rhythm genre."

 

Thanks, Activision.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

There was still a Rock Band 3 studio alive to receive lay-offs?

servb0ts
servb0ts

Ma-Ma-Mi-Ya!! Noooooooooooo

SolidTy
SolidTy

It's a tough market, you have to choose your machines and projects wisely.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Who wants to bet that the Wii will be the main blame for this, even though the news CLEARLY states that it has to do with lower demand for conventional console development (especially since Backbone did other projects as the article also states).

aldronlin
aldronlin

this is not news... everyone knows this game is fading out.  

ziproy
ziproy

Nothing to be concerned about.

 

They see that the Wii is about to be retired and they're just cutting the staff of a soon to be useless development company

AlexFili
AlexFili

 @tgwolf Console gaming is still popular, as big franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed prove. The key aspects here are innovation and online multiplayer.While Rock Band 3 DID innovate, it is becoming old now and Guitar Hero's day has come and gone. Rock Band Blitz was only offered to a small selection of consoles, with no news about portable versions or a version for the Wii U (as far as I know).

InnerSenses
InnerSenses

 @DarthLod Oh dear... another musician on a high horse, don't see too many of those on articles about rhythm games...

DSkinMasque
DSkinMasque

 @DarthLod RB3 has 4 pro instruments. Real guitar/bass/drums/keyboards. This isn't Guitar Hero. This is for the wii/studio not the actual game that keep bringing songs every week.

Lawdog1521
Lawdog1521

 @aldronlin If a game that has over 4000 songs available for it and pumps out new ones every week isn't news worthy, then what is?

 

Just because you're not into the music game genre doesn't mean nobody else is.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

@ziproy

I agree and it is a good point you bring. Unfortunately, that is a fact that many outside the industry are not aware (or do not want to see), and it is a reality for those who work in it.... The owners of the game company (or any other type of company) are not going to have a group of employees seating on the desk if they have no income, money, revenue, etc to pay the developers (and even the staff).

King9999
King9999

 @Lawdog1521  @aldronlin To add to this, this news isn't even about a single game; it's about a company laying off its employees because of current trends.   I hate it when people type the first thing that comes to mind without any sort of thought behind it.  Unfortunately that happens a lot around here.

ziproy
ziproy

Yes and your point? Or are you just trying to be rude

mcmax3000
mcmax3000

 @aldronlin  @King9999  @Lawdog1521 You have every right to not give a crap, and to say so...

 

However, whether or not you care isn't the deciding factor as to what is, or is not news.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @aldronlin  @King9999  @Lawdog1521 Two sides to this argument boys to be fair! I'm with aldronlin on the fact Rockband, Guitar Hero and all them games had gone down the pan..  However it's still news that the staff have lost their jobs.

 

Can't we all just get along! :'D

King9999
King9999

 @aldronlin  @Lawdog1521 Then it's kind of odd that you would even bother posting if you didn't care.  Don't get involved if you had no intention of contributing anything worthwhile.

aldronlin
aldronlin

 @King9999  @Lawdog1521 oh no, forum police is here, i am so scared.

 

still dont change a dam thing that i dont give a crap about this.