Along with the rest of the world, the gaming industry has been feeling the heat from economic turmoil. With surefooted companies like Nintendo announcing record-breaking losses and seemingly a company-a-week announcing layoffs, it’s a miracle that the industry is doing as well as it has been.
Unfortunately, “well” can never be well enough, and it seems that Lord of the Rings: War in the North publisher Warner Bros. Interactive has made some staff cuts of their own.
Announcing a slew of layoffs within the same month as the MMO’s release, Warner Bros. has cut a number of positions from their Seattle-based offices. The news comes from 3D Realms‘ own George Broussard via his personal Twitter, asserting that the layoffs would affect multiple studios in the Seattle area.
“Warner Brothers Games lays off 60ish across multiple Seattle studios. Good luck, guys.”
A representative for the company later confirmed the layoffs but not the number or which studios would be affected (which could include Monolith Productions, Snowblind Studios and Surreal Software). The representative then went on to explain the reasoning behind the layoffs:
“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.”
While it may seem calloused and dirty, layoffs happen a lot in the game industry. Regardless of whether the company is actually making a substantial profit (and Warner Bros. Interactive should be doing fairly well, after the overwhelming success of Batman: Arkham City), the penchant to make more with less is always there – just look at Activision and their massive restructuring earlier this year.
It’s a rough road to travel when working in the gaming industry, especially when talented writers and developers get the short end of the stick. The best that can be hoped for is that they get back on their feet soon, and that they know they have the support of their fans.