Thief dev cuts 27 jobs one week after release

Square Enix cuts more than two dozen jobs at Eidos Montreal just 7 days after the reboot hit store shelves.

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Just one week after Eidos Montreal's Thief reboot was released, studio owner Square Enix has cut 27 jobs at the company. The publisher confirmed--and explained--the measure in a statement to GameSpot this afternoon.

"Yes it is true, we've let 27 people go today. Unfortunately it's something that every major studio has to do sometimes in order to ensure you have the right set up for current and future projects," a representative for Square Enix said. "It's never a nice thing to do but we are genuinely trying to offer as much support as much as we can."

"We're trying to re-locate as many people as possible into other roles here or at our other studios and we've been in touch several studios in Montreal to arrange a career day for those affected by this," the statement goes on. "We're very thankful for all their hard work and we sincerely wish them well."

Kotaku first reported the layoffs.

Thief launched on February 25 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC to middling review scores, including a 6/10 from GameSpot. A past report also suggested that the game faced a number of troubles during development.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

257 comments
trurudboi
trurudboi

Thief for those who did not play the first one will not get the little nuances of this.  Whenever a new team makes a follow up game,  the one thing in articles that gets said is " we are not going to let fans down and keep the CORE feel of the game and we think they will be happy with what we do"  I like thief,  if I had not played their last Tomb Raider I would not get,  or recognize the awesome game mechanics, as well as the game engines visuals on my ps3.  This game rocks, but on hard you dont get  enough special arrows in the world, or from killing enemies.  So I had to leave alot of special loot until I can come back for it,  thats too much to remember.  And i was also not given tools like the game said I should. Also had to leave alot of loot because of this.

johnwck90
johnwck90

I think I must be detached from reality since I disagree so profoundly with much that has been said about this game.  I am close to the end of it now and it's the game of the year so far for me.  I think the development team have had a harsh deal from their employer and from the professional gaming community (reviewers, the parasites who live by criticism rather than doing anything creative, dependent on the labour of others to establish reputations).  The development team followed visual motifs, they studiously honoured the visual grammar and themes of the original games while developing mechanics that reinvigorated the franchise.  Their product showed an integrity of labour and a huge effort to deliver a game that reinterpreted the old Thief world.  Maybe because they were charged with trying to pick up a torch that had already burned out, with most Thief players being seasoned gamers now, they have fallen foul of the jaundiced perceptions of nostalgia-infused memories.  The new game is engaging, thought-provoking, stimulating, and continually worth playing, some of the vistas show a quality of artistic effort that far surpasses the call of the pay-cheque.  It's sad that their labour has not been appreciated.  Well, let's hope those who lost their jobs can find work elsewhere.

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

I think this reboot spells the end of this franchise as we used to know it. They really have deviated from what it used be.What blew me away was the DLC that they had waiting in wings from the get go. WTF ! They even had to have an "asylum" stage ?? I'm mean seriously ; they spent 4 years making the game and the best that they could come up with is steal a level from T3. Tragic stuff.

omar_q
omar_q

Lol'd. Feel bad for the guys obviously but couldn't help myself from letting out a quick chuckle. 

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

If there's any justice, the guy(s) who designed The City's main hub areas are included in that.

kvan33
kvan33

The higher ups come in, meddle with a game's formula in a bit to attract a wider game audience and completely pull the life out of a classic series.   Then the grunts get sh*tcanned when the game is received poorly.   Sad but an often repeated story.

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

The project leaders deserve firing.  It's too bad the rest of these folks will have Thief development in their recent work history.

megakick
megakick

Well all the work is down the DLC has probably already been made what is it left to do? Get fired...

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

fucking scumbags! 

i'll never buy another squere enix title 


i feel sad for the poor workers...

eastern companies like CDPR,FROMSOFT,and 4A games don't do this kind of shit 

blackothh
blackothh

Sounds par for the course with big companys that are run so inefficiently.

BradBurns
BradBurns

They treat developers like tools that can be used and then thrown away. 

Most of the companies that don't engage in this sort of behavior are Japanese. (Capcom, Nintendo, etc.).

Their corporate culture is a bit different. Like Iwata once said, getting rid of people left and right prevents a healthy development culture from existing. 

In the US, and the West in general they sort of just view people as tools that can be used or discarded at random.

grenadehh
grenadehh

This is what I said when Irrational announced it was closing. These developers, Irrational especially, have been around the block. They came from Looking Glass and when that closed, many of them went to Eidos, Valve, Arkane, and various other studios. On the bright side, you have people who are working with all different types of people and get that influence - not to mention experience of working on a game themselves, or their coworkers who have worked on a lot of games. So this is a good thing. They are no longer shackled by Square Enix, fuck that company.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

This isn't news.  Every studio cuts jobs after they release a game.


Oh wait, Eddie.  I forgot, you know nothing about video games.

je29836
je29836

probably cuz they put 27 loading screens in the first 27 minutes of the game

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

This is entirely standard procedure, not really news. When a large game production is finished you lay off a number of people who's skills were specific to that production. They are likely working on another game already, but that doesn't mean everyone is still appropriate for it.

Jobs in the game industry are not short in supply, if these 27 people are skilled workers, not only will they soon be back onto another job, they just finished making a nice wad of cash to get by on.

tiagusb
tiagusb

Í found it extremely boring and repetitive and the art style is boring as in all environments look the same, i enjoyed playing it in one playthrough but it was just one of those, lets finish the game for the sake of it runs, because it damn linear and devoid of exploration aside from a few extra rooms in each mission and i if i replay it i will just be repeating the same exact steps and also the story sucks really hard @johnwck90

analyser
analyser

@xGarrettThiefX This better be the end, if these guys are the ones who would be making more sequels... They messed it up so bad, it's undescribable. And yes, I've played it.

rubentop24
rubentop24

@xGarrettThiefX  dude don't be soo harsh, it for the fans, and still it is way harder the the origenal in T3

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

@cratecruncher  If they had any respect for themselves and their art thye should hang their heads in shame for wrecking this franchise. Did they even play the first or second games Thief games ?

kalipekona
kalipekona

@cratecruncher  


You act like the game is just horrible. It absolutely is not. You may not personally like it, but let's not pretend that your opinion is some kind of fact. Lots of people really like the new Thief. 

I've been enjoying the game a lot. 

rubentop24
rubentop24

@quickshooterMk2  yea that's why this is not the commen game you play, every day that fact make it intresting


BTW, the stealth genre in itself is realy rare. some games have stealth elements. but stealth as core? you don't see that very ofthen. 


and if you don't like it don't play it!


SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@blackothh

Don't bother with Thanatos2k, if there is anyone who should be "released" for "efficiency" reasons its him.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@blackothh Other way around.  Lots of temp people are hired near the end of the development cycle to crunch out the release, then afterwards they have nothing to do.  So rather than pay them to do nothing, they are released.


That's efficiency, not inefficiency.

DoogyDonDoogy
DoogyDonDoogy

@BradBurns  It's true the East has a much different (read better) way of doing business than its West counterparts. 

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@grenadehh

Looking Glass was a great studio then. Had many of their games including Thief and Flight Unlimited, a great flight sim. A friend of mine was enamoured with System Shock. The studio died when the parent company decided to put all their eggs on Ion Storm; John Romero's Daikatana. Some 21 millions dollars for a such a turnip. It then only sold 200,000 copies and died in laughter. But the damage was done and Looking Glass never came back from the dead.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@Thanatos2k

There's around 250 rapes reported every day in the US so, following your logic, one more or less wouldn't be any news.

Oh wait, Thanatos2K. I forgot it's you. Don't bother answering.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@ShimmeringSword It might be true that massive layoffs have become standard procedure in today's game industry but that doesn't mean it isn't sorry as hell.

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

@analyser @xGarrettThiefX  What we should have done is crowdfund / kickstart our Thief game that way there would be no chance of wrecking it. Like I said the franchise is done now.

rubentop24
rubentop24

@xGarrettThiefX @cratecruncher  thief is a good game, not realy common as assassins creed or some other ( pretending) stealth games.


if you don't like it, don't play it noob gamers  

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

@kalipekona @cratecruncher Maybe I was a bit too harsh.  I'm just irritated that so many of the games being released today seem so shallow and sloppy compared to 10 or 15 years ago.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@Thanatos2k @blackothh  You have to be careful around that term "efficiency".

That term has sort of been corrupted by the business world in relatively recent history.

You have to ponder the question: Efficient for whom? For the people working people that have to worry about their job security? Nope. For the environment? Nope. For the top? Yep, pretty much. 

If you don't take the workers into consideration, I'm not certain that concept of efficiency works. At least not for the average person. It's a sort of abstraction of the term, meant to favor elites.  Like efficient Chinese working conditions. That's not efficient. You're just exploiting their awful living conditions.

blackothh
blackothh

@Thanatos2k @blackothhspending more in advertising for a game then the game cost to make, and holding a retainer of lawyers, and paying suits 100x more then they are worth is not the pinnacle of efficiency

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@BradBurns @ShimmeringSword Massive layoffs are bad, and typically follow the failure of a studio. 27 jobs though, that's not massive layoffs, that's just typical winding down after the end of a project.

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

@cratecruncher @rubentop24 @xGarrettThiefX  Noob gamers ? Do you work in the industry or a you just a consumer ? If you haven't played the first Ultima then please don't post stupid comments. These guys backed out a massive Cleveland steamer onto a big white plate  and now you are taking succor from it. This game is bad.

MashedBuddha
MashedBuddha

@cratecruncher

Not me.  I played Thief 1, 2, Deadly Shadows when they came out.


The first two are among my most memorable gaming experiences.  I really like Thief 2014, although I do have complaints.  There are many examples of older guys who played the originals posting - sometimes with surprise - that this new Thief creates the same experience.  Not AS good, no, but far better than expected.


I do agree that calling out "noob" gamers on this one doesn't make sense from the context used.

 

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

@rubentop24 @xGarrettThiefX@cratecruncher   Noob gamers?  It's the older guys who played the original that have the most heartburn over this release.  People that haven't played Thief before are the ones asking what everyone's complaining about.

roman4545
roman4545

@ShimmeringSword   I would like to see you as one of the 27 jobs that got cutted. Lets see if its a big deal for you. 

BradBurns
BradBurns

@ShimmeringSword @BradBurns  Idk, I just tend to have a thing for workers' rights and all that. What with Angela Merkel doing her best to destroy social contracts in Western Europe with her "austerity" bs, but anyway back on topic, it depends how big the studio was to begin with..

Eidos Montreal might not be as big as most AAA studios. I know Castlevania: LOS was made by a team of around 60. To a team like that it would be nearly half the studio. I guess it depends on the specific situation for Eidos.

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@yboucher @ShimmeringSword Yep, still single. I also keep a nice foundation of freelance work for myself so I'm not left in the cold while not working for a studio. When I have a family I won't be taking jobs that don't come with security, that's pretty irresponsible.

yboucher
yboucher

@ShimmeringSword @yboucher  "If an employee in an unstable job position (read, most of game development) hasn't collected themselves a nice buffer of savings they're irresponsible and need not apply."

Wow. Because it's just that simple, of course.  Yeah, ok, I think we're done here.

"
Also the odds of scoring a game dev job without relocating are very low. Relocating into your next job is just "the next step"."

Try it once you have a family. See how "easy" of a "next step" it can be.  No worries though, you're probably still far from that.

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@yboucher @ShimmeringSword Haha, down with Gamestop, haven't been in one of those in years.

If an employee in an unstable job position (read, most of game development) hasn't collected themselves a nice buffer of savings they're irresponsible and need not apply. If someone is working in game dev and isn't making enough to get past scraping by when working on AAA titles, they must not be very skilled workers, aka the type that get laid off in downtime.

Also the odds of scoring a game dev job without relocating are very low. Relocating into your next job is just "the next step".

yboucher
yboucher

@ShimmeringSword @yboucher  Do you mean you're a clerk at Gamestop?  Because otherwise you would know that not exactly every job in the business gives you "a nice wad of cash" to get by on at the end, really not. And secondly, different needs for different projects arise at different times. Luckily Montreal has a lot of studios, but if you get laid off (like in Boston) and there's nowhere else to go to, you have to go where the jobs are or change careers. That's not an easy decision for anyone.