What happened next when redundancies hit one of game development’s closest communities.
Primary Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare Austin has laid off an unspecified number of staff.The restructuring of the studio comes five months after the release of The Old Republic, which saw paying subscribers drop from 1.7 million in February to 1.3 million at the end of April.
George "Geohot" Hotz, the man who posted the PlayStation 3 "root key" online and opened up Sony's console to piracy, has been arrested for possession of marijuana.Above The Law reports that Hotz, 22, who also devised the iPhone jailbreak, was stopped by police at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, on his way to give a talk at the SXSW festival in Austin.
Due to a combination of closures of big-budget Austin game studios in recent years and the newly available digital channels through which indies can sell their work, the city has seen a resurgence in small developers setting up shop. We speak to Semi Secret Software co-founder Adam Saltsman and Venus Patrol founder/IGF chairman Brandon Boyer about how they’re nurturing a community, along with Karakasa Games founder Wiley Wiggins, where indies can meet up, drink a few beers, and get inspired.
When Twisted Pixel – the studio behind The Gunstringer – decided to relocate from Madison, Indiana, to Austin in late 2008, every member of its staff came along. Even some friends who’d been volunteering their services on a part-time basis for free insisted on following the studio south. A range of options had been considered, but the warm weather, low cost of living, deep talent pool, lack of a state income tax and budget incentives ultimately tipped the balance to the city.
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Austin-based Splosion Man and The Gunstringer developer Twisted Pixel.Founded in 2006, the studio has built close ties with Microsoft, releasing four games for Xbox Live Arcade since 2009, while recent game The Gunstringer was a boxed Xbox 360 exclusive that made use of Kinect.
Following reports last month UTV Ignition has confirmed that it has made a number of job cuts at the Austin-based True Studios, which developed free-to-play MMOG Faxion Online and was working on FPS Reich.UTV online vice president Don Choi issued a statement to Gamasutra saying that only a "fraction" of the studios staff had been laid off, though an affected employee, who wished to remain anonymous, contradicted the statement, claiming instead that the majority of employees at True had been let go.
EA Sports has revealed plans to open a new division in Austin, Texas.State governor Rick Perry and EA executives announced the move during a press conference at BioWare Austin today."We're going to be adding 300 jobs to our operations here in Austin," half permanent positions and the rest contract ones, EA Games Label president Frank Gibeau said, according to Joystiq.
US developers Red Fly Studio and Blue Fang have been hit by layoffs that reportedly affect a combined total of up to 55 staff.Austin, Texas-based Red Fly, which was responsible for Wii and DS platformer Mushroom Men, as well as the Nintendo console versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, told GameSpot that around 30 people were let go on Wednesday June 22.
The FP, a new film about “an underground war” in the small US town of Frazier Park between two gangs who fight “not with fistfights or petty brawls, but the dancing video game Beat-Beat Revelation", had its US premiere at the South By Southwest (SXSW) film festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday.