Gamasutra is reporting that German web-based developer Gameforge have laid off 100 staff after they merged with Frogster back in August. In addition, they have decided to cancel the development of HellBreed and Mythos. They are also considering canceling Star Trek: Infinite Space if they cannot find a co-publisher.
Alexander Roesner, CEO of Gameforge, said this:
“Through a more efficient organizational structure, we can optimize our use of resources and great potential for further growth increase. This will strengthen our long term position in the dynamic market for online games.”
Those remaining with Gameforge will be split into development and publishing divisions. The development division will be focusing on internal projects, while the publishing side will be charged with games portfolio and platform strategy. Gameforge also noted that these layoffs were “inevitable” in light of this restructure. Roesner had this to say about about those who were laid off:
“We take responsibility for our employees very seriously and strive to find a socially responsible solution for the affected team members.”
Analysis: I was looking forward to Mythos and Star Trek: Infinite Space, but I hadn’t heard of HellBreed. I hope Gameforge come to their senses and take a chance on Star Trek. They’ve already put so much money, time, and development into it, so it would be a shame for it be canceled now.
I understand that, after a merger, things are going to change and there will be some casualties. However, with this many, it looks like Gameforge are trying to save themselves from having a major loss after that merger. It looks like now that decision was bad for them over all and they’re just trying to stay a float.
I also have a problem with Roesner’s statement about those affected by the layoffs, specifically when he mentioned a “socially responsible solution.” This could be spun either positively or negatively, but I’ll try to take the middle ground and say that it sounds like they’ll do only what they need to for those laid off and nothing more.
I once saw Gameforge as a developer with ambitions that could only be matched by their successes or failures. Now, I look at them and see yet another company who’s willing sacrifice their employees to make sure they’re not cast in a bad light financially.