Bilson Defends THQ Layoffs

Bilson Defends THQ Layoffs

THQ’s VP of core games Danny Bilson has justified the recent layoffs at its subsidiaries Kaos Studios and Volition, saying that trimming staff after completion of a project is “normal” and “just business.”
“I wish we had enough work to keep everybody employed all the time, but sometimes it’s just business.”

THQ’s VP of core games Danny Bilson has justified the recent layoffs at its subsidiaries Kaos Studios and Volition, saying that trimming staff after completion of a project is “normal” and “just business.”

Earlier this month
THQ confirmed that 16 staff had been let go from Saints Row developer Volition, with 17 employees at Homefront developer Kaos Studios also laid off. In an interview with Gamespot, however, Bilson said that the layoffs affected a small percentage of staff and were nothing to be concerned about.

“It’s the normal cycle of finishing a game,” he said. “At a certain point as you come out from the lifetime of a product, there are people that aren’t needed for another year or year and a half until you’re up to the full ramp-up. So these aren’t punitive measures; they’re normal cycling of game teams.

“If you said they shipped Red Faction and 120 guys were laid off, then we’d have something to talk about,” he added. “As you move through cycles, you go pre-production, production, post-production. You need everybody in production, very few in pre-production, and very few in post-production.

“So it creates a whole roll-off system of having stuff to work on. And in a one-game studio like Kaos, there’s not work for 100 people right now. That’s kind of how that works. It’s pretty normal. Out of necessity, sometimes through movement and lack of work, it just happens.”

Having spent the best part of 20 years as a Hollywood writer, Bilson sees parallels between the Hollywood model of movie production, and modern videogame development. “In the film business, everybody says goodbye at the end of the movie and then they go to work on something else,” he said. “I wish we had enough work to go around and keep everybody employed all the time, but sometimes it’s just business.”

Bilson’s Hollywood history affords him an often unique view of the industry. Last month he slammed the state of storytelling in games, describing cutscenes as “the failure state, the last resort of game storytelling.”

Source: Gamespot

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