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Not Of My Own Volition

I've been maintaining that video games are not as recession proof as the industry pundits say.  Sure, game sales are still pulling in tons of cash, with no appreciable drop in revenues.  But look closer.  Studios are folding up.  Square/Enix is in the process of taking over Eidos.  EA almost hostile tookover Take 2 Interactive, and only the release of Grand Theft Auto IV prevented it from happening.  The same amount of money is being spent, but on fewer titles.  Companies spread themselves too thin, and are trying to pull themselves back together.  And that means, unfortunately, people who got a ride when the economy was good are being cut loose in space.

Last month, THQ announced that it was laying off a quarter of its 2 400 strong workforce.  Part of the 600 was announced today, and it affects local talent.  Volition is a game developer based in Champaign, Illinois.  They were originally known for the Descent and Summoner series, but cemented their reputations as A-list developers with the Red Faction and Saints Row franchises.  They also did the 2005 Punisher video game, which was actually a pretty decent time to be had.

Volition's main office in Champaign has 236 employees, currently hip deep in Saints Row 3 and a new Red Faction title.  None of them are being touched.  Volition also has their own Quality Assurance team in the same town.  There are 102 employees there.  16 of them are getting absorbed into Volition's main office.  47 are temp workers who are simply not having their contracts extended.  The remaining 39 are full timers.  THQ is being decent -- they are giving them 60 days notice and are trying to help them find work elsewhere instead of just cutting them loose in space.  (Let's see -- 86 Quality Assurance people who know their stuff.  How about sending them over to Data Designs?  THERE'S a dev company that needs all the help it can get.)

Just remember, for every Blizzard, which has employee benefits that make it seem like The Promised Land, there is a Volition.  Or a Factor 5.  Or a Pandemic Brisbane.  Or a Pseudo Interactive.  Or....


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
*sigh* Things are tough all over...

(Gotta run. The kid wants some game time.)
Mar. 7th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
I've heard Monolith is hiring like there's no tomorrow. And I know PopCap is looking for coders with web gaming experience and QA.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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