Fuzzyeyes Studios release statement on studio lay-offs

News: 

Ex-Fuzzyeyes staff have been letting us know for a while that the Brisbane game studio has been experiencing some difficulties and suffered huge retrenchments as a result, but now it's official. Wei-Yao Lu, CEO of Fuzzyeyes, has released the following statement regarding the mass staff lay-offs which have happened within the last few months.

On 30th of September, FUZZYEYES has let go the majority of staffs as FUZZYEYES was confronted with number of challenges, including economic downturn and some legal complications. In order to reduce the operating cost during this problematic time, FUZZYEYES came to a difficult and unfortunate decision to reduce the number of staffs to a minimum.

On 5th of October, FUZZYEYES has struck a deal to sell portion of shares to a third party company. During this transition period, FUZZYEYES will temporarily seize further development on any project. However, FUZZYEYES is still in business and the office is still open. Until the transition is fully settled, FUZZYEYES will suspend all onsite development, but all out sourced development is still on going. FUZZYEYES will be back in full operation after the settlement, and a number of FUZZYEYES ex-employees has been offered a position in early 2010. Further details will be released once the transition has fully completed.

Fuzzyeyes and Southpeak Interactive have denied the claims of the recent reports that their game in development, Edge of Twilight, had been cancelled as the result of the troubles at Fuzzyeyes.

Comments

Anonymous's picture

What a bunch of crap.

1 - The "Majority" is every single employee of Fuzzyeyes, except the CEO.
2 - This majority are still owed several months of pay, as well as superannuation for the ENTIRE time they worked at Fuzzyeyes.
3 - This "third-party" company that now own a large portion of Fuzzyeyes are completely unknown. No one knows who the company is, their name, where they're from, their address...nothing.
4 - Fuzzyeyes being "in business" is a very loose term, and the office isn't open. It's locked, and no one can get in.
5 - The "outsourced development" isn't still going on. There are no outsourcers. Any outsourcer who worked for Fuzzyeyes is owed lots, and lots, and lots of money (there ain't many who are owed anything under six figures).
6 - The "transition" mentioned here by Wei-Yao Lu is actually a move to either China, or Taiwan. The studio will no longer have anything to do with Australia.
7 - One ex-employee was offered a role at the future Fuzzyeyes studio...in Asia.

I would strongly discourage anyone from working with Fuzzyeyes, or Wei-Yao Lu in the future.

More details "next week".

Anonymous's picture

This company wouldn't have been run by the same people as "Interzone Games" in Perth by any chance would it?

Oh yes, oh yes, indeed, people.

It's time the Australian games industry either self-regulates, or employees unionise. Drastic? No, this shit is becoming far too common.

Anonymous's picture

You are not the only one to think that.

Found this on the net.

http://ausgamesdevwhistleblower.blogspot.com/

The industry does not seem to be very good.

Anonymous's picture

Wow, that site looks like the inept rantings of a twelve year old with poor spelling and grammar skills..

Anonymous's picture

What an awful blog, the whistle blowing usually implies someone giving out interesting inside information, but there is nothing there to suggest that the person writing the blog is even involved in the games industry.

Yes, there are some valid points, buried in lots of speculation and obvious spite. Holds as much authority as any random forum post.

Anonymous's picture

Was the game fun? Can you summarise in a few paragraphs what the main problems were; and why the publisher balked?

Marty

Anonymous's picture

Publisher didn't balk.

Game was awesome.

Management sucked.

Anonymous's picture

Was it fun? Well, depends who you ask I suppose but it definitely had its moments. Arguably the best part of the game wasn't any particular gameplay element (heavily borrowing from other established games) but the overall art, presentation, mood, and cohesiveness to its world and story. The combat and exploration gameplay were there but still relatively unpolished and in need of fleshing out (which was still happening).

The main problem with development was AAA expectations from a relatively new and inexperienced team working with a tiny budget and incompetent management (a real project manager only stepped in during the last 3-4 months of development but by then it was already over).

The reason people gave up wasn't because of the game, it was because for the past year they never got paid on time and were lied to regularly. If anyone ever has any doubt about the loyalty and belief in the project of some of the fuzzyeyes employees consider that many of them stayed on working for 2-3 months after they had been told there was no money left. That's how much they wanted this to work out.

So what did they get in the end? Their job outsourced to Asia.

The people responsible for the cool art and story and direction are no longer part of the company, which is a shame.

Anonymous's picture

...Fuzzyeyes isn't recovering from this. The government ombudsman has been chasing the CEO (Sonny) all year trying to force him to pay his employees what they're owed but he won't do it. Looks like he's resorting to fleeing the country instead.

Anonymous's picture

a positive one - to anyone with investment funds & project management expertise - that aussie game developers have the talent and dedication to make successful AAA games based on original IP, if only there's someone with the power & experience to bankroll & project-manage their creative engine.

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, I think they'll rather take this as a warning to NOT get involved with game development in Australia.

I can appreciate the effort you guys put in, but, clearly there were major deficiencies with the title's gameplay. Atmosphere can only go so far, especially if the story isn't there to back it all up -- somehow with the degree of said inexperience, I doubt the title was strong in that regard.

Best of luck to you guys in the future. BTW: the last thing you can do is stay bitter about the experience; if you want a job with the locals that is -- most studios wouldn't of had the ability and guts to attempt something that you guys have ;).

NathanRunge's picture

No offence, but that seems like an unnecessarily harsh assumption to make about the game. If you know something more about the game, then certainly it may well be true, but if you're assuming based solely on what has been said in these comments I see no reason to judge so harshly.

Anonymous's picture

The story was the high point of the game and the writing and voice acting was awesome, easily comparable to bigger games. Anyone who says otherwise has not actually heard it or was part of management (ie the chosen few, wink wink)

Anonymous's picture

I see Mike Patton on the IMDB page for the game. Is that true?

Anonymous's picture

Yup Mike Patton, Melissa george and several other talented voices had been signed up for the title. RIP EOT.

Anonymous's picture

OH NOES! That would have been *Epic*

Anonymous's picture

I see what you might have done there?

Anonymous's picture

"...story was the high point of the game..."

That's what you say. To be blunt, your opinion matters very little to me. I only really trust my own, and since I can only go upon the material that is available, and past experience as to why such projects fail, then I can't agree with you.

Who may or may not of ended up doing voice work for the game, also means very little. It's kinda speculative, especially as you don't know their reasons for why they have decided to do the voice work -- maybe they just really really want to be part of a video project, or maybe, they just need to supplement their regular acting income; or one of a thousand other reasons it could be that have nothing to do how apparently great the story and game is :/

Sorry if that's blunt or comes off negative, but to be honest, I'm not going to care whether it does to you or not ;).

Anonymous's picture

I'm not the guy you're talking to but I have no idea what your point here is. You never saw the game so you're saying you can't judge the game? Seems like how things generally work...

Anonymous's picture

So you trust your own opinion, having never had anythgin to do with it and only based on incredible heresay?

Talk about the willfully ignorant.

Anonymous's picture

LOL - your point is "everything sucks until proven otherwise"?

You're gonna go places man! I wish I could be as grounded as you!

Jerk.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment. My god, this site has a lot of childish whiners...

Anonymous's picture

Actually, I'll take the bait and clarify a bit for the slow ones:

Lots of people talk up / hype stuff here and elsewhere. Not just on the web but via media in general. I don't go off of what 'may' of happened, I make decisions based on what has happened. And even then, I don't make up my mind on something until I have had the chance to directly experience it. You're asking me to take what you say at face value. For all I know, you're some fanboy kid who has only ever worked on the one project with little idea of what does and doesn't make a good story -- or game for that manner.

You say the story was great, well, based on your experience levels -- as many that have worked there have implied -- my gut says to me that it was bloated waffle with a lot of bad cliches and dialogue. I mean, if it was so great, then why have publishers chosen to take a big pass on it?

I leave it to you guys to puzzle over that one, I've got better things to do ;).

Anonymous's picture

"if it was so great, then why have publishers chosen to take a big pass on it"

Because the CEO was a conman and during the GFC a heap of publishers backed out of projects around the world as risks got riskier? If you think the only reason a publisher would ever pull out of a game is because the story/dialogue wasn't good then you have a LOT of growing up to do. And if you think the only reason a publisher would stay is because the story/dialogue is great, then you have a LOT of growing up to do.

You sound like a real cunt. I honestly hope you're not in the industry and are just sitting outside trying to sound intelligent. Because if you are in the industry then you're the cancer that's killing it. You sound like a fucking Krome higher-up (cept I know you're not because Lucasarts have pulled out of all their projects too).

Anonymous's picture

Here, here!

Anonymous's picture

This guy is awesome, we need more of this on Sumea! Kick out the jams dudes!

Anonymous's picture

I'm really getting sick of the Krome bashing :(

Anonymous's picture

I'm a 'cunt'... ?! I think you really really need to do some growing up and take a long hard look at yourself. Everything I've said has been quite reasonable; you've just decided to overreact. What's the problem, can't anyone say anything 'negative' about your 'perfect' project? Perhaps you think that it was the bestest project in the whole wide world; and anyone who didn't work on it, is a jealous jerk?! I mean, how dare anyone say anything at all 'bad' about the greatest project of all time! Hell, unless you worked there, then you just don't know what your talking about and have no right to comment. It's not like this is a public site or nuth'n! I mean, 'everyone' knows that the GFC is to blame for everything! Yep, publishers even canned great projects with a hell of a lot of potential in way of a: poor story and questionable gameplay.

Time to face reality kid, the game 'looked' great but it lacked substance; quit making it and Fuzzy out to be more than it ever really was -- a valid and worthy attempt at doing original IP with lofty goals, but ultimately, out of your depth as a studio and team ;).

Anonymous's picture

I'm someone else.

Your ignorant lauding was in no way 'quite reasonable'. You admit you know nothing of the project yet felt appropriate to tell everyone who was exactly how bad it was, in the most arrogant and demeaning way possible.

You are, by very definition, what he accused you of.

Anonymous's picture

Or, knock off early, head to the pub get a few cheeky pints in. On Walshy maybe?

Such passion, you guys should make games.