The lights are on
Update #2: An employee at Visceral Montreal has confirmed to us that the entire studio has been laid off.
A former employee at Visceral Montreal who has asked to remain anonymous has confirmed that the entire studio has been let go. Earlier today an EA representative confirmed that EA Montreal had been subject to layoffs, but wouldn't comment on the extent of the firings or which studios were affected. Our source's comments fall in line with earlier rumors that Visceral Montreal has been closed entirely following the completion of The Devil's Cartel.
Our thoughts go out to Visceral Montreal's employees.
Update #1: An EA representative has passed along the company's official statement on the layoffs.
Today EA internally announced some adjustments to select
development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth
areas, including new technologies and mobile. Many employees are being
retrained for new positions; however a small number will be released.
These are great, talented people and we wish them well. EA is growing
globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year.
EA also stressed that Visceral Redwood Shores, the flagship studio of
Visceral Games and developer of Dead Space, has not been impacted by
the layoffs, which has been a source of confusion on Twitter. In regards
to Visceral Montreal, the representative stated the following: "EA
Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to
sharpen our teams' focus on consoles and mobile games."
EA also confirmed with us that EA Montreal is not shutting down, but
couldn't comment on the overall state of the Visceral Montreal team.
The video game industry is reeling from news of more layoffs, this time at Army of Two developer Visceral Montreal.
While Kotaku is reporting that the entire studio may have been shut down, EA is only confirming the company has "let some people go" in its Los Angeles and Montreal branches, according to a blog post by EA Labels president Frank Gibeau. Visceral Montreal's current game, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, is set to release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 26. We visited the developer for our cover story on The Devil's Cartel, and walked away impressed by the talent and enthusiasm of the staff, which we highlighted in this studio profile video.
We have reached out to Electronic Arts for clarification on the layoffs and will update the story when we learn more.
[Source: EA Via: Kotaku]
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
My condolences to those who have lost their jobs. Also WTF EA already laying off the entire staff, Visceral Montreal's first game hasnt even come out yet.
I feel bad!
Layoffs are never a good thing. Good luck to all affected.
Welp...it is clear. This game will suck. Suck so badly that Alien would look good next to it.
While it's saddening that all these people are losing their jobs, I'm glad Visceral Redwood Shores hasn't been impacted. Dead Space is one of my favorite game series.
Wow, that's a real shock to the studio, I'm sure. Greedy EA. . .
That's one of their best studios, why would they do that!? Don't get me wrong I don't EA to succeed but looking at it from their point of view, letting go one of their best dev team isn't exactly smart on their part.
Let this be a lesson to any future studio that wants to sell itself to EA.
How many studios has EA close down by now?
I hope the talented people at Visceral Montreal actually get to enjoy the hopeful success of their recent game, but it still sucks that they were all let go. From the video's I've seen, they all seemed to genuinely enjoy their job and were passionate about the games they made. My best goes out to all of them and, hopefully (even though game developers are getting the ***-end of the stick right now) they can get hired on somewhere else. Either way, it's sad news whenever people who love what they do get laid-off.
"EA is growing globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year."
Well, that's easy to do when you start laying off entire studios and use that as a base line. I don't even like Army of Two, but it's sad seeing all of these developers and studios shutting down.
That game is going to be terrible
Wow, an entire studio laid off? And with a game getting ready to be released. Best wishes to all of those who lost their jobs at Visceral.
That's a really tough break for those involved. I wish them all the best and hope new opportunities come their way soon.
So what happens if the game needs to be patched? Also, knowing EA, they'd want to milk as much out of DLC for the game as possible...
As strange as it may seem that a company would be so quick to lay off an entire staff, it's insn't terribly surprising when you consider the macroeconomic factors. Canada's dollar has been high for a while and that's making labour more expensive for many companies (Cirque du Soleil had recently laid off a significant number of workers and cited the dollar as a reason for those cutbacks). The country may have a low corporate tax rate but aside from that, there's less of an incentive to continue exporting skilled labour to places like Montreal than there was ten or more years.
Or maybe I'm just reading into this too much. :/