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Empire Interactive's Future In Question

Online reports say that U.K. game publisher Empire Interactive has deemed its entire workforce redundant, but a staffer at U.S.-based parent Silverstar Holdings tells Gamasutra "nothing has been finalized."
An employee at Silverstar Holdings has denied a report on trade site MCV claiming that U.K.-based subsidiary Empire Interactive will be laying off its entire workforce. In a phone call with Gamasutra this afternoon, Silverstar Holdings' Florida office said changes are brewing, but claimed that "nothing has been finalized." The Silverstar employee denied that the entirety of Empire's staff would be laid off. "We might possibly lose some people," she added. "...It has changed by the hour ... nothing is definite yet." She said the next couple of weeks will bring about more concrete details. "There are so many 'ifs,' 'ands' and 'buts'" regarding the situation at Empire Interactive, said the employee, who opted to go unnamed. MCV said the publisher has gone into administration, and expects Empire's administrators to make an announcement Monday. Silverstar president and CEO Clive Kabatznik was in the air on the way to meetings as of press time, the staffer said. An email to the chief exec went unanswered. Silverstar was working on the details surrounding Empire's cloudy situation throughout today. A call to Empire's U.K. headquarters went unanswered. In the comment section of MCV's piece, a purported Empire employee said that the company had yet to officially inform its staff about any rumored shutdown or mass layoffs. Silverstar acquired Empire, publisher of the FlatOut franchise and Big Mutha Truckers, in 2006 for an estimated $9.1 million. Empire has offices in London, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the U.S. The firm has been in business for over 20 years. Strategy game maker Strategy First is also a subsidiary of Silverstar. In March, the Nasdaq delisted Silverstar Holdings for failing to meet listing requirements. The firm did not appeal Nasdaq's decision.

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