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

Thats right, there is nothing solid about new start ups, only speculation.
Infact the report about Walshy flying first class could also not be true (likely is true however).

There is truth in the fact that a very large number of ex employees did not recieve the entitlements that should come along with fulltime employment. In fact that's the reason for fulltime contracts, however Krome ended fulltime contracts like the employees were on temp contracts or part time, without any financial support yet continued to operate for some time afterwards.
It will be interesting to see how the court case in Melbourne pans out.

Anonymous's picture

you go to the Washingtin Secretary of State's website, do a company search for Blue Diamond Studios and you get this.

http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_detail.aspx?ubi=602975437

check out who the president is. This is all info in the public domain before you get delete happy, Souri.

Anonymous's picture

also- damn my spelling.

souri's picture

The only posts that have been deleted recently were the ones encouraging others to spam a certain person's email address, as well a few really crass comments on the personal relationship between certain people in question.. so yeh, I've been delete happy with those kind of comments.

Anonymous's picture

The business was registered 12/11/2009, given it's an American site you'd guess we're talking the 11th of December, 2009.

About a month after the first round of redundancies.

Same time Walsh was telling everyone that "everything was fine", right?

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Anonymous's picture

I'm wondering about all those that were with the company long enough that they were due long service leave, not just severance or outstanding holiday pay. I got out a couple of years ago and got all my entitlements from them, I can't imagine how pissed I'd be right now had I stuck around and been stiffed for all this stuff. Can someone who's going through this keep us up to date with the hearings etc, let us know how things pan out?

Anonymous's picture

Last round everyone in Melbourne not on a project with income was made redundant. Some more where in that boat a little later when one project that getting that was getting paid to work on a monthly basis was hold while a certain certain publisher contined it's never ending rounds of green light meetings.

Anonymous's picture

Just when u think things for the poor souls who lost there jobs couldn't get any lower, you read things like this.

Shame, Shame Shame.

Makes me sad to be an Australian.

HazarD's picture

As an ex-patriot Kiwi / Aussie Developer now working in the US, its really sad to see Krome down. I only pop back here to tsumea to check in every couple months whats happening back home etc. I remember saying to a coworker " Dude Krome will be the last man standing in AU game Dev " How wrong I was.

All the best to those who lost jobs, definitely sad to see the demise of Krome.

Anonymous's picture

Well congratulations on a job well done for those who took and won the action to get their redundancy paid from Walshy.

Anonymous's picture

I'd love some more details on this - does he have to pay everyones entitlements? Time in lieu, accrued leave, unpaid wages, superannuation, severance...? Is he personally liable for all of this? Can he actually cover everyone's entitlements? If he can't, do GEERs still come to the rescue to cover the shortfall?

Anonymous's picture

Sorry but company owners and directors are not personally liable to cover debts that arise from their company's bankruptcy.

Anonymous's picture

http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/Programs/EmployeeEntitlements...

"The General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) is a basic payment scheme established to assist employees who have lost their employment due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer and who are owed certain employee entitlements. GEERS covers capped unpaid wages, annual and long service leave, capped payment in lieu of notice and capped redundancy pay."

This anonymous poster is expecting over 15k from geers (accrued holiday leave + redundancy), so lets just hope I get what I'm owed! (although it may take 3-4 months while everything is liquidated)... only time will tell... But technically we should all be paid.

Anonymous's picture

not guys from OS. they get jack

Anonymous's picture

Man that really sucks! Sorry to hear. Surely there is some way to get your entitlements, at the very least holiday pay. Maybe try a lawyer for advise.

Anonymous's picture

Well done.
You set a good example for the rest of us to follow.
We love making games, but this shouldn't mean that our rights can be ignored by employers.

Anonymous's picture

This is hialrious

As a krome employee everyone knows there was an opn door policy to Kurt Andy Marcus washy and all of manegement.

So we all sit here and bitch under anonymous.

How does this help our industry and Australian games in and ind particulate our industry move fordward.

recently THQ offered 20 ex krome people Jobs and then the next day said it ddntdnt exist

Why arent they being questioned after being so vocal on krome

Guess Publishers pay Journos money not developers.

Whos worse

someone who gave people jobs when then wasn't one, or a publisher who should have known there was no job to give

Come on lets bash every one in OZ

Well never get any work and we can all move on

Anonymous's picture

Awesome spelling and grammar dude!

Anonymous's picture

Hmmm this is exactly the kind of jibberish that used to come out of one person in particular, usually after some wine had been consumed. It could be a brilliant impersonator or just someone who failed English miserably too.

Anonymous's picture

Just curious: same surname as an ex-liverpool striker now playing in aus??

Anonymous's picture

like hiding in another country each time you lay off your staff, eh RW?

Anonymous's picture

On a lighter note, anyone else find it slightly ironic that Krispy Kremes have gone into administration the same time as Krome?

Anonymous's picture

Must have been working under a similar Bake for Hire scheme...

That or it just wasn't cost effective enough to glaze anymore.

Dough.

Anonymous's picture

Lets face it.

Every one who posts here is so awesome they will get jobs.

The industry is just overflowing with people who have this amazing skill set to post on forums, how are they not employable. There is so much work out there right now for this sort of amazing talent, its shocking they even have time to post.

The indusrty in australia is thriving

Anonymous's picture

I work in the industry and have contributed to this forum.
You're an idiot.

Anonymous's picture

Seconded.

Anonymous's picture

Just wondering, if the Brisbane dev studio is in receivership and selling off assets are we able to rock up and put an offer in for some of the equipment? I was particularly fond of those Dell 24" monitors! :)

Anonymous's picture

Contact the administrators. They should be able to give you a list of all the assets which you can make an offer for (assuming they are liquidating the company). Their job is to secure the best price for the assets to pay off debts, so if you make a decent offer they should be unlikely to refuse (unless they've done a dodgy backroom handshake wink nudge deal to transfer the assets to a new company...)

Anonymous's picture

Both Brisbane and Melbourne have already done liquidation sales. The PC hardware + monitors weren't going for a huge discount vs what you'd pay for a brand new unit. Some good bargains, but it's the liquidators job to maximize the proceeds not give deals.

Anonymous's picture