Widespread but as yet unconfirmed media reports are claiming layoffs at Australia's Krome Studios, developer of Xbox Live Arcade's Game Room
and the Wii, PSP and PS2 versions of Force Unleashed
, with staff cuts across both the developer's Brisbane and Melbourne studios. According to general estimates, some 100 employees may be affected.
Aussie developer site Tsumea reports that the developer's Adelaide studio has already been closed
, alongside similarly-unconfirmed news from the region's developers that the Melbourne studio "might also close in a few weeks." Fellow Australian developers seem to confirm the news via Twitter; Adelaide-based Tony Albrecht, formerly of Ratbag Games (a studio acquired by Krome in 2006) wrote
"My condolences to the Krome guys and gals that were let go today. Sometimes the Game Dev Industry sucks. Go get really drunk is my advice... Yup - Adelaide Krome is shutting down and Melbourne and Brisbane have been cut back heavily. Krome Adelaide are already at the pub."
Lending credibility to the reports is the fact that Krome has seen numerous cutbacks over the past year. In April the company declined to confirm reports
that 30-50 employees had been let go, but acknowledged it eliminated "an unspecified number of positions," citing the poor global economy.
That round of cuts followed a previous set in November 2009
, again of an undisclosed volume. At that time, it claimed status as Australia's largest, with over 400 full-time staffers.
Further, news of trouble at Krome directly follows LucasArts' announcement that the PSP version of Force Unleashed II
has been canned, although it was never confirmed that Krome, developer of the PSP version of the prior edition, was connected.
The studio was founded in Brisbane in 1999. In addition to its work with LucasArts and its development of the Game Room
virtual arcade for the Xbox 360 platform, it's also known for Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
. Krome has also contributed work to major licenses including Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
and Viva Pinata: Party Animals
; it was last known to have completed original downloadable title Blade Kitten
, slated to be published by Atari in September.