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

Are you honestly expecting them to respond to every single job application they receive, even the unsuccessful ones?

Anonymous's picture

dude, no one does that.

Anonymous's picture

sorry that was intended for the guy above you (the same one you responded to)

I would day I made a mistake, but your post wasn't even on the same page, so the website must have melted for a second.

Anonymous's picture

Diplomatic, but not entirely honest. The rivalry between THQ and Krome has never been friendly at CEO/Director level. Krome's response to staff competition has always been aggressive and nasty. Nice work on helping out though... that's how the Oz industry used to behave generally.

Anonymous's picture

You can visit them at http://bluediamondgames.com or feel free to drop Ashley Bushore an email at ashley@bluediamondgames.com.

There's new opportunities popping up every day!

Anonymous's picture

I understand that the website is still under construction, but before posting links to it, it might be a good idea to provide some basic information on it...like for example, what city you are actually located in.

Might also be an idea to actually put job offerings on the site before telling people to go to the site to check out the job offerings :)

Anonymous's picture

"Pacific Northwest".

It's a safe assumption they're not in Aus.

Anonymous's picture

This new studio is a kick in the face to all ex-Krome employees waiting for the government to pay entitlements.

Anonymous's picture

This new studio in AMERICA is a "kick in the face to all ex-Krome employees" exactly how?

Anonymous's picture

where do you suppose the capital to start it comes from?

Anonymous's picture

The country of origin is entirely irrelevant. I just can't believe it was posted in THIS thread advertising jobs to all the people owed entitlements. Thankfully our government can step in to help us, while you guys flee to open shop in another country. I know this is common practice in game dev, but it doesn't make it right.

Anonymous's picture

To be fair to the anonymous poster, the post does appear to be rife with sarcasm.

Anonymous's picture

I think I just vomitted in my mouth. Why would anyone want to work with her again?

Anonymous's picture

I think it's more of a comment about WHO is running it...

Anonymous's picture

yeah, I don't think Walsh and Ashley wanted this to get out just quite yet.... doubt that this post came from them or anyone related.... how's that saying go - you can run but you can't hide :)

Anonymous's picture

It wouldn't surprise me if Krome's IP's have already or will be transfered to this company.

Anonymous's picture

So Walshy and this producer have moved to US to start this studio up?
I was at Krome but left before the all the layoffs began so I guess I'm about 1year out of sync with what's happening! :)

So what has actually happened at Krome? Has it totally closed down now? I mean beyond just the staff not being there...

I think the best summary I've read in this thread so far is that Krome simply damaged others IP... that about sums it up in my mind as well without getting into it too much. I remember when I was there almost every lunch time we'd discuss how we could improve the games and what was crap... unfortunately we weren't in positions to be able to make said changes and they'd often fall on deaf ears... then reviews would come out commenting on the exact issues we knew were there from the start.

I don't think it will be that bad for everyone... people just need to move on. The industry is thriving albiet not so much back in Aus... but there's soo much oppurtunity overseas, the projects are massive and rewarding and professionally run... I already know many of my ex-collegues have secured jobs that now better reflect their talent and they are happy. Yes I understand moving is not for everyone... especially if you have kids (which may be half way through school) and other commitments here... but as a whole, gaming is just getting bigger and bigger which means more and more studios are popping up and more staff are needed.

Best of luck to all!

Anonymous's picture

So far it appears to only be speculation about Blue Diamond Studios, in fact the website doesnt scream successful start up :/
Krome has shut down, not sure about the teams finishing up projects.
Some assets have started to be sold, i.e monitors, PC's etc.
You are correct in your statement, many good ideas fell on deaf ears. Yes some projects may have flopped a little, however, this is not to say the combined efforts of many talented people failed. Everyone at Krome worked hard and should be proud of their accomplishments.
Here's hoping those made redundant receive money they should be entitled to and were never paid.

Anonymous's picture

the development company that has totally shut down, receiver appointed etc. Krome was made up (at least) 3 different companies. One would've been for the IP (BK, Ty), not sure about the other but possibly the tech. So (IP) Krome wouldn't have to sell to Blue Diamond, it could just license, or all sorts of other arrangements. Not that there would be much point, since they aren't very valuable. Publishers weren't interested in backing Ty4, BK barely even got picked up and seems unlikely Ep2 will see the light of day (95% finished). There's a Ty facebook game where you can give him different pants, that might be worth $50 :-P

Anonymous's picture

Same with Auran, IP was with one company, another employed the staff - seems standard practice so if things go up shit creek, IP/assets are protected from liquidation etc. Explains why Trainz continues to puff along post-Furry (oops was that a Blade Kitten Freudian slip? :-D)

Anonymous's picture

Don't forget Interzone Futeballz, shaft the Australian staff and re-emerge with IP in another country.

Anonymous's picture

It's a very standard thing to do, not just with games companies. It helps to protect against the sort of situation where a company disappears and the IP can no longer be used. Just look at the reboot of Duke Nukem Forever. That couldn't have happened if the IP was tied to the dev company.

Anonymous's picture

The biggest slap in the face about the Interzone thing was that another Australian company that assisted the upper management in illeagally removing the IP form the Perth studio. They were then kept on to attempt to finish the product which I might add is no nearer to completion. Not sure if I should name drop but anybody who was involved in that project or knows someone who was involved in that project will know of which company I speak of. I could wax lyrically for ages about how screwed up the whole situation was and still is but I won't waste the type face. What I will say is I hope all the Krome people that lost their jobs find new ones but don't expect to get back into the games industry

Jeremy
ex Gameplay Designer - Interzone

Anonymous's picture

Could it be a company associated with a certain other company that has its 25th anniversary on tsumea today?

Speaking of which, if there was a company that deserves to die, then it would be that one, just ask any true Fallout fan :-P

Anonymous's picture

Not sure if this will be the most note worthy of news. I have loosely followed this thread & as many have already said, it's very unfortunate that many have lost their jobs at Krome. I read a few posts above that Walshy could be possibly starting a new company etc, well the main reason i'm responding to the thread is that Walshy was on my return flight home from L.A last friday (by himself in sweet first class style) i'm not sure how much water that holds to anything & I'm also neither a disgruntled former employee incase anyone is wondering. I did want to approach him but wasn't sure of what i could really say since i knew Krome had just shut down. All i could think was that he was in the states trying to make new deals but again thats just speculating. Lets hope what ever it was that it may lead to more possible jobs in the industry in the near future.

I apologise if my post in anyway has sounded sarcastic that is/was not my intention & wish i could add more inside info but thought i would give the scoop non the less.

Anonymous's picture

yep- sounds about right. Keep on trucking, Walshy. We're all rooting for you.
oh and they have these other things called business class and premium economy. well, if it was good enough fro Skase...

Anonymous's picture

It seemed to be that there was about zero income from the melbourne studio since last year and was rather grateful that they kept so many people on for so long. I reckon most people at melbourne were grateful for their jobs, um, otherwise they would have left.

Walshy and Steve can spend their own money/ company money however they please, developing average games, flying first class, or keeping people on the pay roll long after the income has stopped, after all it's their money, their company.

Detective John Kimble.

Anonymous's picture

yes, Walshy can spend his money anyway he likes. He also spent his employees entitlements and seems quite pleased with himself that GEERS will cover the shortfall.

Anonymous's picture

This angers me, Yes undertsood that Walshy needs to pay the bills too, and no doubt has his own money from Kromes hay day. But to continue like he has with changing company names, potential start up companies and first class flights whilst ex employees are holding on to thin hope that a possible Government entitlement might help whilst they struggle to pay the bills and support families. This makes me sick!!!

Mario's picture

I wouldn't get too wound up just yet. People are making huge assumptions about the nature and validity of this startup and taking anonymous posts as fact (I don't have any insight into either thing). Not worth getting angry over something there isn't even solid info for.