n-Space layoffs confirmed

Call of Duty: Black Ops DS developer's president and founder says "core team" is looking to secure funding and hire people back, game industry is "a mess."


Orlando, Florida-based n-Space has five games set to ship by the end of the year: the DS versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops, GoldenEye 007, and James Bond 007: Bloodstone, as well as Wii and DS games based on the upcoming feature film Tron: Legacy. Despite that slate, the developer has found itself with dire cash flow problems.

n-Space's Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids on the Wii has a more stylized approach to the film than other versions.
n-Space's Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids on the Wii has a more stylized approach to the film than other versions.

In a post on his blog, n-Space president and founder Dan O'Leary confirmed a round of layoffs took place at the studio on Friday, after a licensor pulled out of what he had considered a "done" deal. O'Leary said the studio had been supporting a team of 70 to 90 developers without funding for several months and that he and a "core team" have stayed on to try to secure additional funding and complete negotiations on a number of deals that had been in the works. If those come together, laid off employees could be called back to work by the end of the week, O'Leary said.

"The games industry is, frankly, a mess," O'Leary wrote. " The economy has robbed customers of disposable income, reducing the number of titles that [are] purchased per year. Huge budget titles have to sell massive numbers to return a profit and the App Store has disrupted our industry in the same way iTunes changed consumer expectations for music…Even for an extremely successful Wii/DS developer like n-Space, with a long history of delivering quality titles on time and on budget, this creates a very challenging business environment."

Although n-Space has focused on licensed tie-ins and ports in recent years, the company has a number of notable original titles to its credit. In 2005, the studio launched the GameCube supernatural action game Geist and had previously produced original PlayStation-era games like Danger Girl, Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas, and Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes.

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