Krome Studios to close doors on Monday, contractors will continue work

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While attendees enjoy the second and final day of the Game Connect: Asia Pacific conference held on the Gold Coast which aims to inspire local developers in these tough times, news is flooding out that just nearby, a major Brisbane based studio is on the verge of collapse.

More troubling and credible reports concerning Krome Studios are currently spilling onto Twitter as well as into our comments areas, and if these new details along with the additional reports received yesterday relating to the Emergent agreement are true, then there is considerable cause for concern for what was once Australia's largest game development studio.

The rumours began with more drastic job cuts today (confirmed to be hitting both the remaining Melbourne and Brisbane studio), but it seems to be a lot more serious for the company than that.

The current report is that Krome Studios have let go of all remaining staff, including those in their base studio in Brisbane, and will be closing their doors on Monday. Some staff will be rehired as contractors to finish some remaining work.

The latest developments at Krome Studios ends a tumultuous twelve month period for the company which had started to dwindle down as the global financial crisis hit after having just reached a milestone of 400 employees.

Beginning with the axing of 60 employees in November 2009, the company shed an additional 50 employees in April this year. Four months later in August, an undisclosed but estimated 100+ employees were further let go from Krome, marking the end for the Adelaide branch of Krome Studios.

While admirable attempts to save Krome Studios Adelaide proved unsuccessful, the closure of the both the Adelaide and Melbourne arms of Krome Studios will mark the final end for the Ratbag Games and Melbourne House legacy. Krome Studios acquired the iconic 80's games developer, Melbourne House, in late 2006 from previous owner, Atari, while a studio was opened in Adelaide by Krome to accomodate the remaining Ratbag Games staff who were left unemployed after Midway closed down the Powerslide developer in late 2005.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

And people also wonder why the industry here has such a bad reputation and name. These sorts of actions are not doing our industry any favours.

Anonymous's picture

When the GDAA was set up originally there was a promise of a code of ethics.
What ever happenned to that?

Anonymous's picture

IIRC Krome was never part of the GDAA, and even if they had been any such code of ethics would be voluntary.

Anonymous's picture

True Krome were never members.

The last thing we need is a code of ethics. The current free for all is working out brilliantly.

It would be terrible if an industry representative body censured members for riding roughshod over employees entitlements, or for using pirated software, or for poaching each others clients, or for using public forums to abuse other developers anonymously, writing software to destabilise competitors online gaming economies.....All the fun stuff!!

Imagine if we had a professional body which wanted us to behave like.....professionals. Thank goodness this isn't currently in the scope of the GDAA, and lets hope no one sets up an organisation to rein in our behaviour!

Anonymous's picture

As if any industry body could ever enforce anything, especially when the tax office, ASIC, etc.. have failed.

Industry associations only work when all are on the same page and understand that it is in their best interests (long term) to be reasonable human beings....

Anonymous's picture

Unfortunately i suspect our Robbie is far too canny to be caught pants down, as it were. Baffles me how he can legally still be operating in these circumstances, but no doubt he has found some loophole. (Set up a new company and it's business as usual. Is that how it goes..?? ).

Was an item on 7:30 report last night about company 'pheonixing' (old company dies, new company emerges from flames debt-free, etc.)

Anonymous's picture

Anyone heard any news on whats happening with GEERS payments? Wouldnt mind the $8k owed to me.

Anonymous's picture

It's in progress for me at least. You can check by logging into the GEERS site, then clicking a link to view the progress of your application. I'd like that money soon as well.

Anonymous's picture

expect at least a letter in the next two weeks- most people I've spoken to have reported their GEERS status is at 100%.

Anonymous's picture

GEERS letters have arrived.

Some people may have been covered by a Federal award and should receive a proper redundancy payment (not the bullshit 6k capped payments RW had given in the three rounds of redundancies before the closure-in fairness some would have qualified for no termination under the law). Admin people covered by the National Employment Standard are covered under clerks award. Any developer who had a science or IT degree and 4 years experience would have qualified for a national Professional Employees award and also a redundancy whether RW offered one or not.

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/national-employment-standards/page...
Also Krome was remiss in paying our 4 weeks pay in lieu of notice instead of one month, hence the .33 of a week's pay everyone should be getting. Also- they were not paying leave loading all these years to people who were due it like some awards specify.

If you got laid off in November 09, April 10 or August 10, for instance, you may be due some money, even if its only a third of a weeks pay.

and I'm done.

Anonymous's picture

Isn't it the case that only people employed in Victoria are eligible to receive a redundancy payment?

I think QLD people are only able to receive unpaid leave.

Happy to be proven wrong.

Anonymous's picture

I know of at least a few in Brisbane to receive a redundancy since GEERS concluded their duties were covered by an award. just not artists!

Anonymous's picture

Can anyone comment on the status of Tantalus Media in Melbourne? Things are super quiet from there and I’ve been hearing all sorts of varied rumours about where they're headed / what they're doing.

Have they shut down for good?

Still going strong?

Temporarily closed and soon to reopen?

New direction?

Anonymous's picture

If I am wrong then someone please correct me,

But from what i hear they are a skeleton staff working on a single W4H project.

Still around but hardly flourishing.

Anonymous's picture

From what I gather not even Steve, one of the co-owners of Krome, is involved in the remaining work. Think it's pretty fair to say they are done.