France-based development company Eden Games took aim at their parent company Atari yesterday with a one-day strike to protest pending layoffs and “mismanagement”, according to a statement sent to Gamasutra. The studio is looking at layoffs in June that potentially target 51 of the studio’s 80 employees, as Atari becomes one of many companies who are attempting to divest itself of its packaged goods business to instead focus on online and MMO based content.
The statement reads in part, “For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties”. According to a response to questions from Gamasutra, the employees have no faith in Atari due to past restructuring and recovery efforts, and are hoping that this strike will have an effect on negotiations to ensure that “an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari.”
So far, the company has not been able to have discussions with Atari CEO Jim Wilson. The statement went on to say that he hasn’t even introduced himself to his employees. Atari has stated that they will not comment on the Eden situation.
Eden Games’ last two games were Test Drive Unlimited and Alone in the Dark, the latter of which is notable for Atari’s reaction over the game’s poor reviews.
Analysis: Another day, another company that develops high-tier console games being butchered by a parent company’s executives. Atari’s had a long history of mismanagement, and at this point, the brand name is virtually useless. I feel bad for the people at Eden because the company hasn’t been managed properly since… hell, the ’90s?
Ultimately, this symbolism will not mean anything. Atari will not answer anything about it, and once the French courts allow, they will lay off their 51 people (possibly more, now). They will continue to take down their console manufacturers while stumbling towards online properties while not having the first clue on how to do that. Second verse, same as the first, and by July, everyone will have forgotten about it. Such is the reality of the games industry.