Slant Six hit with 'temporary layoffs'

SOCOM Confrontation studio confirms downsizing, intention to rehire staffers in future; affected developers will receive benefits in meantime.

The Vancouver-based developer of three SOCOM: US Navy SEALs games has suffered some casualties. Slant Six managing director Brian Thalken confirmed for GameSpot that the developer instituted a round of "temporary layoffs" yesterday. Thalken did not say how many employees were affected.

Slant Six's most recent game, Fireteam Bravo 3 for PSP, launched in February.

In explaining the need for the layoffs, Thalken said, "Our current project needs do not align with our current staffing levels." Apparently reluctant to leave a man (or woman) behind, he added the studio will bring back "as many of these staff members as possible" once the workflow accelerates on its next projects. In the meantime, Slant Six will continue providing extended benefits to those who were temporarily laid off.

Formed in 2005, Slant Six has created three games to date, all of them in the SOCOM universe. In addition to the series' PlayStation 3 debut, Confrontation, Slant Six also made two PSP installments: 2007's Tactical Strike and Fireteam Bravo 3, released in February. The company's current projects are unannounced.

For more on the developer's latest work, check out GameSpot's review of SOCOM: US Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3.

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Discussion

38 comments
Master_Adeum
Master_Adeum

It's sad that the world is so closed to newer companies. Slant Six's efforts in Confrontation BY FAR overshadowed anything Zipper tried to do with their Socom games. None of the major video game review websites have re-rated it after it's initial, rocky start. Not to mention most people haven't tried it again since it's been patched. The funny thing is Confrontation has incredible graphics, physics and sounds. The Socom 4 that Zipper is making looks absolutely horrible. But, since it's Zipper, everybody views the "steps-taken-backward" as good. Lastly, for you Socom "Vets", Confrontation is very similar to Socom 1, 2 and 3 - from the way your character moves to the shooting and overall design...why do you all say Confrontation is terrible, yet say Socom 4 will be better when it looks EXACTLY like a PS3 Gears of War?

dewc1
dewc1

Rumor has it that Slant Six is working on Star Wars Battlefront Online. No idea if this is a fact, but it very well could be true considering both Pandemic and Free Radical are for sure not working on it!

abbnormmal
abbnormmal

The PSP is not a platform for large studios to thrive on, especially a studio that makes shooters. I play Worms and Mercury on the PSP, until I get a handheld with 2 analog sticks, they could stop making shooters for the thing.

Abecale
Abecale

@kavadias1981 Its a tough time we are living in, if your running a business OR been hired by a business. They probably wanted to keep them on, but had to make salary cuts during one of their 'slow' periods. Probably giving them wages but not as much as if they were working for them. Also, since it was probably a 'slow' time of the year, it wasnt as crazy busy as it was, when they were trying to get SOCOM out. At least they said they intent to Re-hire all the staffers back, as much as possible! :D

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@Adziboy Are you sure you're remembering Socom 2 correctly? You didn't need a sprint button in that game as the characters moved a good clip naturally. I've actually gone back and played S2 within the past year from time to time and yes, it is a much faster paced game than Confrontation. Everything - movement, grenade throwing, weapon menu and quick swap, reloading - is much swifter on S2. @keyser27 The most memorable Socom games are developed by Zipper so why you'd think they'd make a crappy Socom is beyond me. And the game is designed around the six axis controller, not the PS Move. The Move was just incorporated into the game as an option, not a necessary tool. As for cover, what part of being able to take cover while bullets narrowly miss your skull or explosions rock your surroundings sounds ridiculous to you? It should be the next logical step in designing simulated combat. Last time I checked soldiers didn't stand up in the middle of a battle and allow the other side to take shots at them in the open. It's 2010. Get used to more being incorporated into games or stop playing all together.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

@kavadias1981 they can keep em on the benefits thing because they are salaried i guess. they WONT be paid, but they still have things like insurance and stuff like that. they dont get paid but if they wind up sick, they wont have to pay. its easier to pay for things like that than to give em a full paycheck.%Pr

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

" Apparently reluctant to leave a man (or woman) behind, he added the studio will bring back "as many of these staff members as possible" once the workflow accelerates on its next projects" now thats how you operate a company. and then they will still receive benefits? thats great of them to do that, allowing them something to fall back on while they look for another job or wait til business picks up again. lets see activision do that... wait, they dont, they have plainclothes security brutes come in and usher you out because you say "i work too hard%Pr

force_user1975
force_user1975

Weren't these guys supposedly working on the Star Wars Battlefront online game? Man that new Battlefront game is never going to be made.

Pete5506
Pete5506

More bad news from the video game world

otakubr
otakubr

socom has to reach market in a diferent time that other big games. they realized they couldn't release it before and now they are saying there's a delay. at least it's what i think

Adziboy
Adziboy

@Hortey: Are you SURE you played SOCOM 2? SOCOM: Confrontation is a much, much faster paced game than 2 by absolute miles. I can't be bothered to go through the countless things but theres a sprint button.

GreyFoXX4
GreyFoXX4

Love Confrontation, its one of the best ps3 mp games out if not the best and one of the best communities around. Definitly for the hardcore, theres nothing like your heart beating a 1000 times a minute knowing you are the last guy alive and you take out the last 5 guys of the 8 that started to win the round and the match. Long Live Socom Nation!!!

scayzie_cell06
scayzie_cell06

its a shame to see troubles at slant six. i have to say Socom : Confrontaions is BY FAR the best online multiplayer you can get on the market right now. ive had it since the beginning and yes its had its problems with new content too late and now a bad map rotation system but it still walks all over MW2, and tho i really like BC2 multiplayter at the mo, it just cant compare to the epic memories of evenings in Crossroads(large) Demolition, teamwork was exceptional. good luck slant six, shame your not involved in the new socom game...

Darnasian
Darnasian

SOCOM 3 was the best SOCOM in my opinion! Its my favourite SOCOM! I played SOCOM 1 and i really enjoyed it! But after i played SOCOM 3 i said "This is the best SOCOM game ever made!". But anyway the SOCOM series is great and i hope that Slant Six will continue to make SOCOM games like FTB3!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

If you "intend to rehire staff" but give them "benefits" in the meantime, why not just keep them hired? At least then they are contributing to the company.

JOKER677
JOKER677

Duh socom 4 is going to be awesome, its made by the same people who made socom 2. That motion control is just a dumb gimmick. Confrontation was and still is garbage, you have people running around shotgunning with sniper rifles (ie the TILLY). Tactical experience? Battlefield bad company 2 has more of that.

keyser27
keyser27

Absolutely. Confrontation had a rocky start, but in the last 6+ months there simply isn't anything else like it for a tactical hardcore experience. I heard some idiot on today talking about Socom 4 and how awesome it'd be. "Really?" I asked. "What excites you more, the motion controls or the cover mechanic?" "Cover??? What???" "Yeah dummy. It's jumping the shark. Game is going to be trash."

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

"intention to rehire staffers in future" - I wouldn't hold my breath though.

Hortey
Hortey

Everyone says Confrontation was horrible, I was a old Socom 2 fan, didn't like S3 so skipped the other one that came after and picked up S:C which I liked about as much as S2 to be honest. It was socom 2 slowed down a bit which forced people to play a little more tactically, it was off to a rough start but around the 1.5 patch is was a great game. The only thing I would change would be not having to cycle through over the shoulder view to go from scope to 3rd person, being able to run and use NVG at the same time, and getting rid of weapon specializations. Most of it isn't that big of a deal anyhow.

FreddieGermany
FreddieGermany

who cares confrontation sucked thats what they get for releasing an incomplete game

sonic0491
sonic0491

I just bought Socom Confrontation. Havent even put it in yet. I heard its mediocre but I want to try it. Cant be as bad as MAG (which I enjoyed), probably equal in a way.

Sully28
Sully28

What they will rehire people in 2 years when they are on a new project? They should stop beating around the bush and say they laid some folks off. Who knows maybe they will stop making horrible games now?

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

Beautiful! relocate to somewhere which got more skills. good move!

HappyBB
HappyBB

I feel for those got laid-off temporarily. I know how it felt in this time of economic condition. Hopefully, the studio's management can keep their word for hiring them back once workload picks up.

dortega120
dortega120

I agree with you guys. After being patched up, Confrontation is awesome. It sucks to see that some employees are getting laid off temporarily. At least they are still getting benefits and there is still a chance that most of them can get their jobs back. Still, my prayers go out to them.

R7_3
R7_3

I'm not a huge Socom fan, but I've had more fun online with Confrontation than I've had with MW2. Just sayin

qmoney88
qmoney88

The unfortunate part is people that havent played the game yet have no way of knowing just how far confrontation has come since its initial release, its so sad because socom is so much f-in fun now, I mean I was one of the ones who liked it at launch, but now I agree that its one of the best games on the ps3

ratavaquera
ratavaquera

Hey , Confrontation is a great game! Its really fun :D

Stryder_18
Stryder_18

Confrontation for the PS3 is so awesome now, since they've released all the patches. It's almost just like good old SOCOM 2.

magicalclick
magicalclick

does this means PSP is not selling as expected?

Scianix-Black
Scianix-Black

lmao, SukMyTurban must be having a ball right now.

xxgunslingerxx
xxgunslingerxx

@ColdfireTrilogy slant six was never a big company and socom confrontation was their first big game

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Happened right around the time they released Confrontation .... which about made me throwup.

telefanatic
telefanatic

this sucks! i really like Confrontation, it was one hell of a ride but after all the patches its one of the best games on PS3.