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Turbine adds to growing list of jobless game developers in Boston

First Foundation 9 shut down its ImaginEngine studio, then Zynga closed shop on its Boston office, and now we're getting word of layoffs at Turbine and Harmonix. It's a good time to be a recruiter in Boston!
It's a good time to be a game development recruiter in Boston. An unsubstantiated amount of layoffs and studio closures have created a sudden rush of available talent in the area in recent weeks. First there was news that Foundation 9's kid-focused studio ImaginEngine closed shop earlier this month, laying off somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 employees. Then, just two days ago, Zynga shut down its Boston studio, which we're told employed somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 people. Now, we've confirmed that two more Boston-area studios, Turbine and Harmonix, have had to let people go. We're not sure just how many people were made redundant at Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine, with a spokesperson for owner Warner Bros. simply telling us that "As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our Turbine workforce." Harmonix, however, was more straightforward with us: we're told that there were less than ten employees let go from the studio as part of what its calling a normal cyclical development cycle for a studio with projects of its size -- you know, the "layoff culture" that Double Fine's Tim Schafer spoke out against just days ago. Harmonix is also quick to point out that it is hiring -- the Gamasutra Jobs Board currently has nine openings listed for the company, in fact. Regardless, it's been a rough couple of weeks for the Boston game development scene, though opportunities still abound in the area. Hang in there, Boston!

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