Krome Studios sheds another 50 employees

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In July of 2009, Krome Studios reached the extraordinary milestone of a combined 400 employees from their Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide studios. When questioned by Gamasutra on the size of the company, and knowing the economic crisis the world over was suffering at the time, CEO Robert Walsh responded with the following plans Krome had to make it through to the other end...

That's very large for an independent developer.

RW: Yeah, it is. And some of it has been natural and some of it has been acquisition. So far it has worked really well. I think this year, like everything else, we'll have a year of consolidation, stay a little bit more focused and weather out the economic storm. And, come out stronger on the other side -- which, we'll see how that plan works out.

Krome Studios seems to be weathering the storm as best as it can, but it has gone through some drastic consolidation efforts since mid last year. In November, 2009, the three studios suffered a staff reduction off of 60 employees, with the Adelaide taking the brunt of axe.

And the latest news, as reported on IGN, Ausgamers, various additional sources, and anonymous posts in our comments area all confirm that Krome has cut an additional 50 employees from their Brisbane studio on Wednesday, yesterday. The total employee count of Krome Studios at the moment is said to be roughly 280 staff members.

As usual, such an unfortunate heavy loss of work placement and livelihoods is always met with our sympathies and best wishes, and tsumea hopes those who were let go a speedy return to games industry employment.

Krome Studios are currently known to be working on Microsoft's Game Room, Blade Kitten, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Krome is a dieing company. They survived on publishing third rate games on a cheap dollar. In the current market there is no room for a developer that develops games with an average metacritic score of 60% for US dollar parity.

Anonymous's picture

Walsh also hid during the firing. And like last time they trimmed the talent and kept the friends club.

Anonymous's picture

What companies do not consider is that making cuts based on who knows who will destroy a company VERY quickly. It sends a bad message to current employees, and a terrible message to others looking on. Talented people who may have considered working for a company will never want to work for any business that has that sort of reputation and they will find it extremely difficult to hire any good staff in the future if things were to improve.

I hope the guys let go find work soon. Sounds like you are better off not working there.

Anonymous's picture

I'm seriously starting to get sick of this shit. I've been at Krome for longer than most of you have been having sex, and I can tell you there is no "old boys club"; if there is, I'm certainly not part of it. The recent layoffs were made because there just isn't any work on at the moment. The people who were let go, we had an abundance of their type of position; that's it, period. The decision makng process was based solely on samples of their work, and nothing else.

Krome is one of the best places I've ever worked for, and continues to be so. Anyone who writes off working for Krome based on the bullshit I see posted here is probably unwelcome anyway as your IQ would have to be borderline retarded to do so.

And to stop the bullshit before it beggins, no I'm not a Krome shill, Walshy or Steve. He'll, I think Walshy has it in for me, and yet I still am employed?

Stop trying to tarnish Krome's good name because you're jealous, bitter or just a troll. I'm fucking sick of it and you're only hurting the hard working people that remain.

Anonymous's picture

Clearly you have your head up your arse or in the sand. Or you just plain don't work at Krome. Your one single "No it's all fine, I swear!" post is outweighed greatly by the ton of others saying otherwise. Why do you THINK there are no projects? Because Krome continually burns itself with incredibly bad products, particularly from the design department, and their arrogance makes them no friends. LucasArts had enough and no one else wants to come near you. THZS could have been awesome but you fucked that up too. You dug your own grave, Krome. Enjoy trying to sell that piece of shit engine on the marketplace alongside UE3 and Cry2.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry bad formatting, iphones suck for long posts.

Are you saying that people who work at Krome suck? Do you work at Krome? How do you know anything about what goes on at Krome? Were you laid off from Krome or something. Or have you just heard details second or third hand?. If you were laid off I can understand the bitterness. Otherwise I just do not get it. Please explain exactly what your problem is? Krome employ's hundreds of Australians. Australians that otherwise would not have a job. How can you possibly resent Krome so much.

Krome has done some crap games, but then so have internal Activision studios. Internal EA studios, and just about every other studio on the planet. Krome is not the only company shedding employees at the moment. Thousands of people have been put out of work in the last 24 months. Dozens to studios developing AAA to budget titles closed. Krome does not stand alone here. Look at todays news. 70 odd Sega staff out of the job. It's not Krome it is the climate. Sure we can improve - but so can you.

I wish we all had 5 years and unlimited funds to make a title. It's a simple fact we don't and never have. We have done the best we can with what we have.  There been bad decisions, there been good decisions. Sometimes we have been in blinkers willingly and others not so willingly.

Seriously, this last round of redundancies are done exactly for that, because we don't have the work.

You really think if this was such a crap company that Walshy/Steve couldnt just cease operating and pocket to coffers themselves. Instead of paying staff millions to try keep going, keep staff employed. That means more to them than you obviously know. If you knew anything about the history of these guys you would shut your unknowing mouth. I worked on the Krome engine team for 4 years. Saying it's a shit engine really speaks to your lack of knowledge more than your words.

Thanks for the personal insults. I don't think my week could have got any worse.

Cheers
Cheers

Anonymous's picture

The engine is pretty good. But the tools are shit.

Anonymous's picture

As a long time employee who hasn't noticed "the boys club" you're either ignorant or stupid. Maybe it's time we called these people out by name here?

Anonymous's picture

Why does Blade Kitten look like 1st year animation students worked on it? The animation is just so bad for a big studio like Krome

Anonymous's picture

If you have a reputation for producing poor quality titles perhaps your engine is not as good as you think.

Just look at the number of Australian games companies who no longer exist and thought that they could write the next great engine and ignored the basics such as decent TOOLS!

Your comment comes across as a typical arrogant engineer reply .. and I have worked with a few of them here in Australia.

Companies must realize if they want to compete in a global market against engines such as unreal and cry that they had better set aside a good deal of time for proper tools development.

I can only tell it as I have seen it. Use decent tools to get a decent result or don't bother and stick to casual /mobile games.

Best of luck to those let go.

Anonymous's picture

As always with these announcements, I hope that everyone who was made redundant gets back on their feet soon.

I did want to let everyone know that for those in the industry who are unemployed and are thinking of starting their own game dev studio. The federal government has just released a new batch of placements for the NEIS program. I'm not completely sure what the situation is in Queensland but Victoria just got a surge of new placements that they want to get processed through very quickly.

There are some requirements to get into NEIS. You need to be on Newstart centrelink payments for 4-8 weeks prior to applying and it's obviously aimed at those who want to start a business. There are currently no requirements in-place yet as to the type of person or business being created either.

I can vouch for the NEIS program that I'm currently doing with Serena Rosso Job Access that it's a fantastic course. Through it I've written a solid business plan and now understand a little more about the business side of game development. It's definitely influenced the direction of my development plan.

Additionally when your business plan is accepted you'll be put onto NEIS payments for 12 months to help you develop the business. Which is basically Newstart allowance without the need to see Centrelink...ever!

If you meet the requirements and apply soon you can basically start working in your small business come mid July.

For more information take a look at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/JSA/EmploymentServices/Pages/NEIS.aspx

Hope that helps.

Anonymous's picture

Its really nice to see someone write up something positive, but what i really wanted to say is best of luck with NEIS! Its nice to see someone learning how to run a business unlike some CEOs i know in this industry ...

Anonymous's picture

You think the NEIS program teaches you anything useful? It doesn't.

Anonymous's picture

When I did NEIS, it was mainly aimed at services based businesses. Not sure what the situation is currently, as the website is down or something. But, unless you want to pitch yourself as a contractor for local studios, then this may not be the best "fit." Again, I did this ages ago, so, I don't know how they've improved the program. And, if you do do it, at least you get some business training, write up a business plan of what you want to do, and also, get a Cert IV in Small Business -- in 6 to 8 weeks, instead of, 1 to 1.5 years; granted, they first have to approve your business plan. Just don't be surprised that when you can't secure the minimum contracts, that you're booted off of the program ;).

But as I said, I don't know how it has changed, and, small "indie" projects are far more viable these days. So... best of luck with it!

Mario's picture

Sounds like mainly artists were let go, but we have various roles open currently including a concept artist role which just opened up as well as multiple senior programmer roles.

Check out http://www.sidhe.co.nz/liveworkplaynz/ for some info and relevant links.

I'll be posting more specific vacancy information in the next week, but wanted to give people the heads up.

Anonymous's picture

Seems the start of regular Game Room updates has been delayed until further notice.

Hope that project is alright behind the scenes, I think a lot is resting on it.

Anonymous's picture

The delay is MS, not Krome.