Layoffs Hit Starhawk Dev, Focus Shifts To Mobile

by Jim Reilly on Oct 17, 2012 at 02:49 PM

LightBox Interactive president Dylan Jobe says 24 employees are being let go from the Austin-based developer. The team last created the PlayStation 3 exclusive Starhawk, which was met with mediocre sales when it released in May.

In a statement sent to Game Informer tonight, Jobe explains the reasons behind the layoffs and says LightBox is shifting focus to self-funding an iOS game for its next project.

Below is his full statement:

I am not shutting down LightBox Interactive but I did pre-emptively inform my staff that there were going to be lay-offs on Friday -- 24 people to be exact.

Too often in our industry, people are "let-go" with no warning, no severance, no time at all to prepare their portfolios. It's actually quite terrible. That's NOT how we run things here at LightBox Interactive. The whole reason for me informing my team of lay-offs before they happen is so they have time to prepare. Collect stuff for their portfolios, capture screen shots or video -- the stuff that helps people land on their feet. All 24 employees were also given a severance package.

Why the lay-offs? Well, as you know... the industry is changing. We are moving away from traditional console development to self-fund the development of our next game on Apple's iOS devices.

Santa Monica Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment are fantastic people and great to work with. We have had, and will continue to have, a great relationship with everyone over there and I have no doubt that they'll continue to bring the kick-ass games -- and hardware -- to gamers everywhere.

Sony, meanwhile, says it will continue to support Starhawk and Warhawk out of its Santa Monica studio. "Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm that it has amicably ended its working agreement with developer LightBox Interactive, Inc," a spokesperson said in a statement sent to Game Informer.

"We have had a positive and long-standing working relationship with this talented studio, and wish them the best of success in their next endeavor. Starhawk and Warhawk will continue to be supported by Santa Monica Studio."

LightBox was founded in January 2009 by former team members of Incognito Entertainment, developers of Twisted Metal: Black, War of the Monsters, and Warhawk for PlayStation 3.