Krome Studios hit with redundancies

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From time to time, we're privy to news about the latest round of staff redundancies from local game studios, and while I'm rather hesitant to post a news item every time that happens (which would be have been quite frequently lately), I'm certain this sort of information is helpful for those who are still actively approaching companies for game positions, particularly to others who have just been let go.

Feel free to use the comments section of this news item, and this news item alone, to post any reports on staff lay-offs or any related discussions concerning local redundancies.

The latest unfortunate and confirmed news is, however, that Krome Studios Adelaide (the studio that Krome had formed after the Ratbag Games closure in early 2006) has taken a big cut from an Australia-wide Krome Studios staff lay-off today with a drastic reduction of roughly half the studio from 36. Best wishes and hopes from tsumea that you all get back on your feet in the industry as soon as possible in these seemingly bleak times.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Your problem is in getting from that 1 person to 90% of the workforce.

NathanRunge's picture

The fact is we have an over-abundance of skilled people. Whether you like it or not, there's a guy who can do your job just as well as you can and is willing to do it for less money. People keep assuming that those doing the work for cheaper will be less skilled, but that's not true - they're just more willing to compromise. As the post above says, you need a large number of people demanding better pay in order for anyone to be inconvenienced. Even at 90% of a company in Australia demanding it, the likely outcome is that the staff will get a pay rise until the current project is completed and will then be mostly replaced by the many of people desperate for their jobs. In order to get anywhere you need at least about the same number of people demanding pay as there are people willing to replace them with the appropriate qualifications. We do not have that, and hence have a pathetic negotiating position. I know we'd all like to assume we're worth more money than everyone else, but that approach is arrogant and will only get you replaced by someone with a realistic perspective on his worth. Of course, if you're a creative genius with highly successful AAA titles to your name, you might be an exception.

Blitz's picture

I'm wondering how you're generating your opinions, because they are completely out of whack with my ~5 years experience at irgurus/transmission and discussions with people working at other (mostly) melbourne studios. I mean, my experience and discussions mostly are from programmers, artists, producers etc. On many occasions I've heard complaints on how hard it is to find skilled people. Maybe you're just talking about casual QA testing work? Maybe there's a big difference in the numbers of skilled people in victoria and whatever state you're in?

NathanRunge's picture

It's possible the situation is different in Victoria. I'm basing my opinions on my experiences in the industry in Brisbane and, to a limited extent, in Canada. I know that, here at least, there are many, many developers of significant experience that would happily take a job in the indusry for lower than average pay. Pandemic's dissolution and the lay-offs from Auran and Krome among others have really flooded the job market. You are right that with the latter example that the lay-offs have been people of lesser seniority, but there are some well experienced people from Pandemic and others that are in the same situation. I admit, I am less familiar with the situation in Melbourne.

Lantree's picture

Melbourne not much different with redundancies from Krome, Transmission going into receivership etc.

Anonymous's picture

hahha! A transmission staffmember :)

Anonymous's picture

First off i would like to say i am saddened to hear how the australian games industry has become in the last couple of years and hearing about this while overseas. I really feel for the people about these redundancies theres some great talent there.

Second the Australian games industry is a BIG utter joke ! You are behind the rest of the world. bad management, utterly shit games, BAD GAME PLAY ideas one after another no wonder why developers are having a bad time getting contracts there. There are only a couple of companies coming out with great ideas such as firemint, 2K and ironmonkey.

Also I can see why all these companies are going down its because they are led with GREAT SHIT TALKERS and bad management, which i seem to hear all the time. It seems like thats the only good talent there is SHIT TALKING. Seriously leads or art directors or lead programmers or management or whoever is on the top chain look at yourselves and compare yourselves with the young guys coming out of Uni a lot of the times THEIR SKILL IS 10x BETTER THAN YOU so do not underestimate them.

Now times are changing rapidly especially with the release of free engines etc. such as unreal 3, Unity 3D and who knows whats next maybe the far cry engine. There will be lots of new ideas coming out there in aus and all over the world hopefully a great game.

So there will be shit developers that will fall and it already has started like a domino effect, unless they change their management and way they CONTROL TALENT and PEOPLE HANDLING SKILLS, they will not survive long unless they can suck as much dicks to the publishers (their shit talking skills come into play ) which is starting to change as well because they are only after Unique games and SOMETHING NEW you can bring to the table.

Anonymous's picture

Over the course of that post you dropped about 8 years from your maturity level. Initially I thought you were at least 22. By the end you were some burnt fan boy around 14.

Anonymous's picture

Personally, I think it dropped at the start of the second paragraph and then held steady.

Anonymous's picture

Could have been worded better, but, I think you're onto something there pal ;).

Wow, UE3 and Unity now have free licensing options... where the hell have I been the past couple of weeks! And here I was thinking I had to cobble together a mix of open-source technology to get an engine up and running that I can use; this sounds like the best news that I've heard in a long time.

So, thanks for the post!

NathanRunge's picture

While there are points in your post with which I agree, you do demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the industry that, to me at least, makes your view on the management processes of said industry somewhat invalid.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry but i think he speaks the truth.... its quite blunt but perhaps it needs to be put that way :P

NathanRunge's picture

Blunt is one way of putting it, but the problem I find is that he over-simplifies the problem to such a degree of abstraction that the criticism is, at least, partially misdirected. As I said, I agree with a number of his general ideas but he speaks from anger and frustration rather than a reasonable analysis of the situation and, consequently, places the entire blame on management which, realisitically, bears a fair portion but not all of the blame. He also fails to consider the realities faced by the management of a games company in the current economic climate or industry practices, concerning creativity, at all.

I'll clarify that I agree there is an over-arching problem in the management approaches adopted by many Australian companies and an over-supply of less-than-original titles. That can be said of the industry as a whole, however, which is adapting to shifting market demand. Unfortunately the Australian industry is primarily comprised of studios producing titles on a contract basis. This makes them less able to adapt, unless they have stockpiled a significant quantity of money or have proven themselves consistently extremely reliable, in which case they may be assigned more risky titles.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I figured this was the most relevant one.

I have a friend from overseas who is considering applying for a position Krome currently have advertised, does anyone know how things are going there at the moment?

Anonymous's picture

Its hard to tell, in the space of a couple of months they cleared out considerable amounts of staff from Adelaide & Melbourne right before commencing hiring across several roles.

So I dunno… spring cleaning?

If a company makes redundancies (especially in the current climate) its reasonable to assume that they're taking damage as much as the next guy, though I’d say its safe to assume Krome are among the untouchable few (with regards to the current climate); not many AU studios have branches in three separate states, plus they've probably had stacks of work come in the door with this whole Game Room deal, Blade Kitten & an additional WB contract they'll also be finishing up with soon. Suffice to say they're certainly not stuck without anything to work on.

Anonymous's picture

Word is that a few people have been canned from Melbourne today.

souri's picture

It's more than a few, unfortunately. I've made a news item on the main page about it.