While last week's reports of layoffs at San Francisco game developer Perpetual Entertainment fired up the water-cooler conversations among industry insiders--as well as prompting a company official, president and cofounder Chris McKibbin, to confirm the hit to headcount in the Gods & Heroes forum--a conversation with McKibbin today cast a different light on the matter.
McKibbin said that the headcount reductions were a natural course of any big-budget, art- and content-intensive project. He said those who had left the company of late had done so only after their contracts had been rolled over a number of times and said Perpetual would be "more than happy" to employ all those people again when the art needs ramped up.
He called reduction numbers reported earlier on Web site Gamasutra as not entirely accurate, but declined to offer substitute figures. However, he said today that the number of staffers reduced from the Star Trek Online team totaled four, significantly lower than rumored.
Finally, as he did in the forum post, McKibbin emphasized the existing 150 staffers at Perpetual were "deeply committed" to both Gods & Heroes and Star Trek Online, and that the company is continuing to hire, most heavily in engineering roles.