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Krome Studios hit with redundancies


From time to time, we're privy to news about the latest round of staff redundancies from local game studios, and while I'm rather hesitant to post a news item every time that happens (which would be have been quite frequently lately), I'm certain this sort of information is helpful for those who are still actively approaching companies for game positions, particularly to others who have just been let go.

Feel free to use the comments section of this news item, and this news item alone, to post any reports on staff lay-offs or any related discussions concerning local redundancies.

The latest unfortunate and confirmed news is, however, that Krome Studios Adelaide (the studio that Krome had formed after the Ratbag Games closure in early 2006) has taken a big cut from an Australia-wide Krome Studios staff lay-off today with a drastic reduction of roughly half the studio from 36. Best wishes and hopes from tsumea that you all get back on your feet in the industry as soon as possible in these seemingly bleak times.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 5:11 PM Permalink

Adelaide has taken the brunt of this, and it doesn't look good for those that are left.

Currently Adelaide is working on a game prototype for a publisher (publisher is paying for 3 months of work), and the Adelaide team is no longer even big enough to take on the project if the prototype is successful.

The cuts in Brisbane have been generally of low level employees, with all the people whose decisions made Hellboy and Republic Heroes such godawful games still intact and in charge.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 5:35 PM Permalink

Lots of QA went a couple of months back. This round was animators, artists, level designers, programmers.

Wasn't based on any poor performance, was basically a case of looking on paper who the least senior were, taking out the names who have friends in high places, and getting rid of the rest.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 6:11 PM Permalink

The image for the Krome layoffs posting on the Australian Gamer site is in pretty poor taste, Yug - please have a little more regard for the people who have lost their jobs.

Submitted by Yug on Fri, 13/11/09 - 6:48 PM Permalink

I have plenty of regard for the people that lost their jobs, a lot of good friends of mine are included in that list ... doesn't make the date any less ironic though.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 6:23 PM Permalink

I phrased it badly, when I said low level I meant in terms of seniority.

The problem with doing it this way is that many of those people in senior positions are the reason the company is in the position it is now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 10:40 PM Permalink

The timing with EA 1500 has just shown how much studios in general are struggling.

I used to work at Krome and my facebook has been depressing tonight,

Been like

friend has been made redundant.
friend has been made redundant.

All the best to those who are redundant, I was made redundant years ago and it was a horrible experience, but you'll all land on your feet again.

I'm hoping this downfall only lasts 12-18 months, and we have a stronger industry afterwards.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 11:25 PM Permalink

(sidetracking comments removed - Souri)

Back on topic: Krome has always had a history of hiring friends and promoting them up the chain. Recently they've talked a lot about being more professional and legit and less of a circle-jerk of yes-men who end up pushing out 3/10 game after 3/10 game.

Their solution to this was to lay off a lot of dead weight. Finally! So how did they do this? Got higher-ups to save their friends and lay off the rest. That'll fix it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/11/09 - 10:18 AM Permalink

Truer words have never been spoken.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 13/11/09 - 11:38 PM Permalink

30 from Bris, 16 from Mel, 14 from Adl...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/11/09 - 9:38 AM Permalink

Those numbers are fucked. Keep in mind there were previously around 230 people in Brisbane, 60 in Melbourne and 36 in Adelaide. Despite all the talk of change and streamlining and hard cuts it is obvious that the friends club is still well in effect and keeping things the same.

Submitted by NathanRunge on Sat, 14/11/09 - 1:08 PM Permalink

Whether one is a fan of Australian Gamer's work is hardly relevant to the dicussion at hand, and Yug is hardly an opportunist to defend his work using the most readily apparent information that sits right in front of the eyes of his detractors.

Regardless, I can't say that this news has filled me with a sense of joy or hope. I've not much been a fan of Krome's work but the people being made redundant are, typically, not the ones responsible for that problem. Krome was, however, a pretty important employer in the Australia industry... especially now.

I remember it was almost a year ago, when Pandemic was shut down, that a lot of people I know were saying that the Australian industry was dying. I defended it of course, certain that it had just copped a blow below the belt and would be getting up over the next couple of years. The news has hardly got any more positive since then, however. Of course the industry isn't going to die... but for those right now going through university or trying to get an entry level position, it's reaching the point where it might as well be dead. Of course I'll struggle on and work independently, which is my ambition anyway, but the economic uncertainty for the future is a little concerning for a young man starting a family.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/11/09 - 8:50 PM Permalink

Yes, this is clearly all his fault.

Why post this rubbish here? If you are that pathetic then there are plenty of other websites on the internet for your unwarrented snide comments.

Submitted by NathanRunge on Sat, 14/11/09 - 10:12 PM Permalink

I bow down to your infinite wisdom and undoubtedly bountiful achievements. I can see that surely I should have broken down into tears and sobbed in the corner for the past year. Such a plan of action could only have bolstered my chances of getting a job and really made life better for all around me. In future, whenever success proves challenging, I shall remember your advice to abandon hope and simply whinge about the situation instead.

I do have to ask, however, how has it worked out for you?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/11/09 - 1:56 PM Permalink

How many people are still at Redtribe? It once had over 60 people, now there is just a small handful I believe.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/11/09 - 1:38 PM Permalink

Situations such as these highlight the "its not what you know, it's who you know" saying.

I've certainly learned this. It makes sense to keep people you trust and who you think rock at what they do. If you have to fire the awesome dude who you can have a conversation with about common interests, and who performs well in a team... or a mean introvert who is uninterested in getting to know the rest of the team outside of work hours...

Just who do you think you'd fire?

viva la communication!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/11/09 - 3:09 PM Permalink

Making a game is a team effort (at least the scale of games we're talking about in this thread), so peoples' skills at communication (including inter-disciplinary communication) is important too, not just 'pure' programming or artistic talent.
So yeah, somebody might be the best thing since sliced bread, but if they can't talk to their teammates or get their ideas across then, depending on the role, that can put them at a disadvantage compared to somebody a little less 'talented' but better at translating programmer to artist or vice versa.
In summary - pure talent isn't always enough - develop your communication like any other skill.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/11/09 - 3:12 PM Permalink

Communication and teamwork is a talent ;)

That's why directors and executives get the big bucks, the porsches, and the 6 month holidays.

You fire the quiet, lazy guy who doesn't innovate. The guy who bitches, moans, and points the finger whenever anything goes wrong.