Warner Bros. lays off around 60 - Report

[UPDATE] Lord of the Rings: War in the North publisher confirms job cuts at Seattle-area studios; 3D Realms' George Broussard puts headcount at roughly 60.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released The Lord of the Rings: War in the North at retailers nationwide. Now comes word that the publisher's releases this week may have included employees as well as games.

Snowblind shipped Lord of the Rings: War in the North earlier this week.

3D Realms' president George Broussard reported a round of layoffs at the publisher's Pacific Northwest operations on Twitter, saying, "'Tis the season. Warner Brothers Games lays off 60ish across multiple Seattle studios. Good luck, guys."

Warner Bros.' Seattle-area shops include Monolith Productions and Snowblind Studios. Snowblind developed The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, with previous titles including Justice League Heroes and Champions of Norrath. Monolith is currently working on Gotham City Imposters, and it counts the first two F.E.A.R. games, the Condemned series, and The Operative: No One Lives Forever among its past efforts.

Broussard has proven sadly accurate when tweeting about the latest layoffs in the game industry. The 3D Realms veteran has been among the first to detail developer downsizings at Sony Online Entertainment, LucasArts, IO Interactive, EA Canada, and Black Box, among others.

[UPDATE]: A WBIE representative confirmed layoffs for GameSpot, saying, "As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our WB Games Seattle workforce."

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Discussion

93 comments
howie1926
howie1926

@badgerofdoom Thank you for reinforcing my point @smbius Thank you as well

howie1926
howie1926

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digitalheadbutt
digitalheadbutt

@spidey223 The article is referencing layoffs made by WBIE and no I don't think they are smart enough to support their own product. It wasn't Snowblind I was referencing but WBIE, who is the subject of the article. Read for context champ. I am sure that the folks left at Snowblind would want to do something like that but their parent company doesn't seem to believe in the product enough to maintain it's staff. No need to start making attacks questioning my intelligence. I said nothing aggressive or inflammatory enough to warrant that crap from you. Just expressed my opinion as a fan of Snowblind's games and one who preordered this game 4 months before it shipped; I don't think we will see DLC.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

WB interactive is a great publisher as far as publishers go. LOTR War in the north is a horrible game though. Rather, its not bad, but its not great. It feels under developed and the graphics as well as quality are old, not new. It is no surprise WB would lay off some people, this isnt abnormal.

ordinateur
ordinateur

And they are massively hiring in Montreal.... They just took 4 interns from my University for the winter

jalen_222
jalen_222

The lukewarm reviews to War of the North must have been a vicious left hook after their massive marketing campaign. The game did look promising, but the reviews are accurate. To look at potentially making millions, then to fall short. Somebody has to pay.

myDogTaz
myDogTaz

Warner Bros lays off around 60- look for them to post huge profits in the 1st quarter! Isn't that what usually happens when people get laid off?

SeptuagintXXX
SeptuagintXXX

@1valiantknight-- I haven't played LOTR yet, but I am beginning to lose all faith in so-called professional reviews. Dark Souls was an absolute mess. For Gamespot to give that game a 9.5-- which essentially means it's perfect-- is a fraud on every person who views this website.

smbius
smbius

@inaka_rob - There is a difference between an employee and a contractor. Contractors KNOW their employment is on a contractual basis - meaning they are employed within a given amount of time. While full-time employees are hired to stay long term. And when you have to let go of those guys (employees), that's usually a sign that something wrong is going on with the company. @warhawk-geeby - that's exactly right.

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

LOTR War in the North is a surprisingly fantastic game. Myself and my girlfriend are having an absolute blast playing it right now and we feel that all the harsh reviews for the game couldn't be more wrong. It's evident that a lot of love and effort went into this game. Around every corner I am impressed. It's one of the best hacknslash rpg I have played and I've played them all. I'm sorry to hear snowblind was cut.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

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inaka_rob
inaka_rob

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I'm starting to notice a trend at the moment with these developers.. They produce a game and then the studio lays off a load of people. I could understand if they were freelance, but unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case :( Sucks.

badgerofdoom
badgerofdoom

@inaka_rob you don't fire everyone the moment a game is finished because if you are a game developer presumably you might want to make another game, if you don't then your not really a game developer. Some people might be hired on a temporary contract basis but this is different to laying off your core workforce. I can just imagine a planning meeting with you. "good job on finishing the game, what shall we make next" "well i've fired the entire workforce and sold the office so we're pretty screwed" (Facepalm!). This also applies to painting houses if you own a house painting company and want to paint more than one house in your entire career.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

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toddx77
toddx77

Maybe if Arkham City came out on the same day as the console versions WB would have more money to let those people keep their jobs.

smbius
smbius

@howie1926, @inaka_rob - It's true. For some corporations (especially where some CEOs are out of touch), laying off is usually the first and easiest thing to do. It's how they keep the board happy. Artists, developers, sound engineers are typically redirected to other projects. Personally, these were just bad projects to begin with and layoffs were the easiest choice once a game doesn't meet its sales projections.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

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fredwv
fredwv

3D Realms = turd

JeromeJean
JeromeJean

Not like anyone gonna remember those who made bland game like LotR:WitN.

servb0ts
servb0ts

seems like they got used, createdgame and shafted. this has been happening alot from gaming companies. dunno if its their trend or what to be expected.

lamprey263
lamprey263

how sad, Monolith has gone down hill lately, I liked many of their games over the years like Tron 2.0, AVP2, Condemned 1 & 2 and FEAR 1 & 2... and after all this time since FEAR 2 released two years ago Gotham City Impostors is all they have to show for it, and they're going to keep getting cuts and downsized as their games suffer in quality, but I think it's not from the lack of talent, more in the lack of vision, they need to make a game that utilizes the talent that exists at these studios and focus on those strengths, to me that's the first person single player survival horror, and not fall victim to demand for tacked on multiplayer

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

Sad, and they've had a very good year but that corporate bureaucracy for you i guess.

howie1926
howie1926

@inaka_rob My tone suggested that I feel sorry for them because I do! Nobody wants to get laid off, even if they know about it ahead of time. I understand that it's part of the industry that they chose to work in. Does not mean that it does not suck for them. This is what is wrong with this world. Everyone just rolls with the punches and nobody questions whether it's right or not. SHEEP!!! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA lol

Cartr1dgeBased
Cartr1dgeBased

@mtait01 once again im confronted with a user that can only read titles....

Fursnake
Fursnake

With greatly disappointing game release comes great wave of layoffs.

bunnyman14
bunnyman14

@mtait01 All that you said is wrong, all of it. Warner Bros. isn't shutting down, so it's not a loss at all, and thank goodness because they've published some really good games. According to GameSpot, their 5 top-rated games are: Batman: Arkham City Bastion Mortal Kombat LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Scribblenauts The developers that are being downsized, Snowblind Studios, haven't made that many games. They made some RPGs last gen that were well recieved. They've only made one bad game.

Scouten9
Scouten9

@666NightsInHell my thoughts exactly what a MAJOR disappointment in the LOTR franchise

666NightsInHell
666NightsInHell

Game sux, crap console port with very bad controls, very bad graphic and its a Hunted: The Demon's Forge game clone. Dont wast your money!

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

Somebody please lay off George Broussard.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

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maxwell97
maxwell97

@TBear7130: why should they keep paying them when their work is done? I guess studios could have a 'guaranteed lifetime employment' policy, but that sure wouldn't help reduce the price of games.

raichou
raichou

@mtait01 Dont forget FEAR 3.

Valcrist08
Valcrist08

i mean what to expect, War in the North was an absolutely horrible game, no one deserves to get layed off but wow the game is really bad.

mercutio665
mercutio665

@ Frano_3 The WB Studio in Montreal has been working on stuff for over 6 months. They celebrated the studio's "Grand Opening" in its permanent location this week, but it's likely unrelated.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

Don't get me wrong I sympathize with the people who lost their jobs, but people are treating this 60 as if it were 6000, its a business if your not putting out a quality product then theirs not much job security for you unless you work in the fast food industry.

Franko_3
Franko_3

Wb opened a new studio in Montreal this week. Coincidence?

Ad-jet
Ad-jet

if you're looking for bad graphics 2011 game you are close

rarson
rarson

I don't understand why they operate like this. Publishers need to take advantage of the technology that is available and put their programmers to work on additional content for the products they've already released. That way they are appeasing fans while giving their employees an additional way to earn income. It makes no sense to fire people who could be earning you money, if you could only somehow figure out what to give them to do...

rarson
rarson

@smoke_dog_4ever He was saying it sarcastically, as if giving someone a pink slip is in the spirit of the season. Also, I think holidays are a typical time for layoffs since the games are usually releasing by Christmas.

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

"'Tis the season. Warner Brothers Games lays off 60ish across multiple Seattle studios. Good luck, guys." Woooooow. Way to throw salt on an open wound. "Tis the season" is said during Christmas, a time that is supposed to bring joy and happiness to people all over the world, and these guys use it as part of their eulogy for firing people. Kind of heartless. #notwinning

howie1926
howie1926

@inaka_rob Are you really complaining because I said god bless and good luck to a bunch of guys who just got laid off?? I know it's how the industry works but it does not mean it's right. There are people all over the world who need prayers, your right. Who are you to say that these families are any less deserving?

moviequest14
moviequest14

I know of one rather old-fashioned way of making profit instead of loss..MAKE BETTER GAMES!

botroo3
botroo3

@tom_cat_01 Great video man thanx.

mtait01
mtait01

this could be because Warner Bros release garbage most of the time - According to Gamespot their top 5 games of all time are 1. Flatout: Head On - PSP 2. Impossible Mission - Nintendo DS 3. Watchmen: The End is Nigh Parts 1&2 - Xbox 360 4. Watchmen: The End is Nigh Complete Experience - PS3 5.The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - PS3 And he is the real insult to this studio... Number 6 is.... 6. Harry Potter Find Scabbers - Mobile Phone Now you try and tell me this is a loss to the video game industry, they release rubbish

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

Sorry.. but to continue... its the Guys that got a LITTLE too comfortable in their sweet gig... and end up watching Anime and netflix all day that end up screwed. They end up with nothing much to show for.. and then they get all pissy when the job ends.... Trust me.. no GOOD artist/Programmer/whatever is super freaked when this happens.. to them.. its vacation time.. to the other guys.. its bust your hump to get your Reel looking good. seriously...

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

Yknow.. I like to talk crap as much as the next guy.. but to be totally honest here the whole Contract and Laying off and getting a new job isnt really all that terrible. IF YOUR GOOD. And I say IF YOUR GOOD because if you are, you move onto the next project. And its actually pretty cool because you get to do different things. You may work on one thing for a few months.. then go to the next thing for a few months. I know to the outside world it looks like a bunch of crap. But after Making Dragons for a year.. you might welcome something Mario-ish. And on and on it goes. Yes it would be awesome if it was the Dev's choice to do that and they werent forced out.. but also what this does is fosters the idea that you are an asset and they will get rid of you as soon as they dont need you.. so you dont feel bad when you know the project is coming to an end.. and Some other company calls you to work on that project. Each side sticks it to each other in thier own way. THAT said... I wish these guys well.. and as I said below... Get that Demo Reel polished.

LunchSackSal
LunchSackSal

@inaka_rob ... As usual God wont do squat here.. What you need in this position is a damn good Demo Reel and Resume.