Friday, August 20, 2010

Transformers developer, Krome Studios, hit by layoffs and office closures.

It looks like one of the largest Australian developer studios, Krome Studios, is in trouble.

According to a report on tsumea, Krome Studios has already closed down its Adelaide office, and made substantial staff cuts to both its Melbourne and Brisbane studios.

The developer had 400 staff at its high point, but was hit hard by the global financial crisis, with two rounds of cuts occurring in late 2009, and again in April.

It’s a tragic fall from grace for a developer that has produced a number of classic games – including Star Wars the Clone Wars, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, Scene it? Hellboy: The Science of Evil, and titles in the Spyro and Viva Pinata franchises.

Given that list, it’s clear that Krome’s fall is not a result of poor games quality (something that could potentially be attributed to PlayLogic’s demise earlier this year), nor a lack of high-profile franchises to help market and sell the games.

The news reemphasises how challenging the market conditions are for Australian developers – set to become moreso should the Government introduce the classisification requirements for Apple App store downloads if it wins the election.

Interesting, according to the developer’s home page, the company claims it is ‘always on the lookout for talent’ and has a great big ‘now hiring’ button.

It also appears the latest cut backs will have no affect on the upcoming Bandai Namco-published Blade Kitten downloadable title that Krome developed.

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