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Gas Powered Games Layoffs

Gas Powered Games has laid of some staff shortly after the launch of their Wildman Kickstarter seeking $1.1 million for a new action/RPG. This is reported by Kotaku, who confirmed that the company has cut some staff with honcho Chris Taylor after getting wind of them through the grapevine. Taylor did not confirm the extent of the layoffs, however, so there are dramatic elements to the Kotaku report which remain speculative, as one source told them these were due to the Kickstarter underperforming, while other sources have told them that almost everyone who worked for the company was let go. There's a follow up to this on Gamasutra. "The studio is still operating, but we had to slim WAY down to conserve cash reserves," Chris Taylor confirmed for them, confirming some earlier comments that they are all in on Wildman: "We spent all the last dough that we've had, and the last several months working on it. So we're betting the company on it."

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37. Re: Gas Powered Games Layoffs Jan 19, 2013, 15:51 Dades
Stormsinger wrote on Jan 19, 2013, 15:36:
As a matter of fact, I do not work in the industry...any more. Not that it's relevant to my points in any way, but I spent over twelve years doing so. But thanks for pointing out the absurdity of making assumptions based on a few sentences.

Frankly, not one reason has been given to support the idea that the games industry somehow operates under different conditions than other industries. EVERY industry has to deal with changing conditions, failed contracts, and limited resources.

Good planning allows for that...poor planning does not do so...worse planning never even considers the possibility. The only thing debatable about that statement is the adjectives one chooses to use, the spectrum stays the same. Maybe you'd prefer "fantastic management can avoid laying people off, good management lays them off with warning, and bad management destroys the company." I fail to see any meaningful difference there...except how low or high you want to set the bar for "good". I prefer a higher target myself.

I agree with you, there is a fundamental problem in the gaming industry when a single failed product is almost certain death for a company. The publishers negate their own risk as much as possible by offloading work in contracts with developers and if developers want to break out of that mould then they need to interface directly with fans and start getting credit from banks and investors like the publishers do so that they can afford to fuck up once or twice.

The costs of development aren't going to shrink any time soon so they need to start applying management techniques from other industries otherwise they will just keep going in this stupid cycle and the industry will keep growing smaller as bigger players eat little ones.

The rise of Kickstarter, Steam and a much larger independent games movement is very promising but they need to stop treating Kickstarter as a method to fund every "Wild" idea they have. I love original works but you need to be in a good financial position to take a chance on them, maybe Kickstarting something recognizable from their back catalog would have been a smarter move and they wouldn't need to lay off so many people.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
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