Reports: Factor 5, Turbine cut staff

Developers of Lair, Lord of the Rings Online added to list of industry employers laying off employees in time for the holidays.

The gaming industry's belt-tightening continued today with the announcement from beleaguered publisher Midway Games that it would be laying off one quarter of its global workforce, approximately 180 people. According to a pair of additional reports, the unemployed talent pool has grown even deeper than that today, with more layoffs at Factor 5 and Turbine Entertainment.

Best known for developing the PlayStation 3 exclusive Lair and the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series, Factor 5 was the subject of rumored turmoil last week. An animator with the company posted on his blog that employees had not been paid in a month and were told by a studio executive to start looking for work if the operation hadn't secured funding within a week.

Now, Edge Online is reporting that 37 people--roughly half of the Factor 5 staff--were laid off by the company last Friday. Citing a "well-placed" source, Edge also reported that Factor 5 is considering taking legal action against the animator.

Turbine's situation appears less drastic than that of Factor 5. As reported by and confirmed by GameSpot, Turbine has cut head count in the QA and account-management departments of both its Massachusetts and California operations.

"Yesterday Turbine took steps to align our business to successfully achieve our strategic goals in the years ahead," a Turbine representative said. "As part of this transition, some of our talented colleagues will not be with us going forward. We remain committed to delivering on the high level of quality entertainment services that our growing community of customers have come to trust from Turbine."

Based in Westwood, Massachusetts, Turbine is a massively multiplayer online game specialist with a portfolio of games including Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, and Lord of the Rings Online. It shipped the first expansion to its Lord of the Rings game, Mines of Moria, last month.

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