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Empire Interactive Cuts Staff, Will Sell Studio

Parent company Silverstar Holdings has announced that it has instigated a number of “organizational changes” at UK publisher Empire Interactive, which will see a 30 percent reduction in staff, primarily by the sale or disposition of developer Razorworks.
Officials from parent company Silverstar Holdings have announced that a number of “organizational changes” have been instigated at UK publisher Empire Interactive, designed to “maximize efficiencies within the company, eliminate certain unprofitable operations and better position the company for growth.” As part of these changes, around 30 percent of Empire’s staff will be made redundant, primarily through the sale or disposition of its internal development studio Razorworks. This is claimed not to involve the sale of any intellectual property or affect any current project under development. Negotiations are currently in progress with interested parties and officials indicating the completion of the transaction could be made within the next few weeks. The company has stated that it will continue to use third party developers after the sale is completed. The reduction in staff is expected to save around $3.0 million per year, with additional changes including a reorganization of the executive management team through unspecified promotions and the relocation of the company’s headquarters to Muswell Hill in North London. Yesterday Silverstar, which also owns PC publisher Strategy First, announced new e-commerce website BigCityGames.com, aimed at casual gamers. The initial roll-out of the site offers more than seventy casual titles, including Cradle of Rome, 10 Talismans, The Magic Ball 3 and Chameleon Gems. “The changes at Empire mark an important new direction for the company as we head into fiscal 2009. These significant cost savings and managerial changes, along with our planned fiscal 2009 game line-up, position the company for a strong fiscal 2009,” said Silverstar CEO Clive Kabatznik.

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