Yesterday, video game environment artist Adam Bromell tweeted, “Some layoffs at id Software today, perhaps more to come later.” Later on in the day, parent company Bethesda Softworks confirmed to Joystiq that there have been layoffs at id Software. The company gave this statement in regards to the recent lay offs:
“As part of its standard business practice, id regularly evaluates staffing to ensure it has a workforce that meets the needs of the studio. As part of that process, some id employees were recently let go….”
id Software is “still recruiting and hiring qualified developers,” and confirmed that “development work on future id titles continues unabated.”
The project they are referencing in the statement is Doom 4, which has been in production since May 2008. The game is being developed with id’s Tech 5 engine that was recetly used in Rage.
Analysis: It’s always sobering and disheartening to hear that people have lost their jobs. I can’t say that I’m surprised to hear this, though, and the reason is because Rage sucked. You only need to read the Gaming Bus review to confirm that. Those who were laid off are probably the ones at the mid- to low end of the totem pole because all shit rolls downhill even in game development studios. I do appreciate that they’re looking to hire others to bring in new talent, but was Rage a flop because of those who were told to do something or those who told them to do it? I’m worried that Doom 4 will still suffer a fate similar to Rage. If these layoffs are being done to lay blame on that failure, I feel the core problem isn’t being addressed at the designer or producers level.