*** 20/8/2010 Update:
Gamespot AU have received official confirmation from Krome Studios in a statement about the current state of affairs...
As we have seen by other recent announcements, the games industry is still going through economic challenges which Krome is not immune from. These times are challenging and as a result, although it greatly disappoints us to do this, we have put some of our staff on notice pending the outcome of a number of upcoming projects. Of course, we are looking to other new opportunities in the future.
It is important to note that this action has not affected the development of our current projects, both announced and unannounced, which we are continuing to work on. Additionally, Krome remains firmly committed to the future of all three studios.
Confirming the reports provided to tsumea as well as those posted in our comments section, both Adelaide and Melbourne studios have received a four week notice. If there is no change in Krome's current situation within a month, those studios will close up.
Studios currently with positions available for ex-Krome staff
Big Ant Studios : engine, network and AI programmers www.bigant.com
Sidhe : www.sidhe.co.nz
SEGA Studios Australia : Senior engine programmer, Lead character artist, Art director
THQ Studio Australia : Gameplay programmer, AI Programmer, Senior Engine programmer
2K Marin-Canberra : gameplay programmer, a senior designer, junior tech programmer - www.2kmarin.com
Ciniteq : Modellers, animators, testers www.qinetiq.com.au
*** 19/08/2010 original post:
Buzzing around the Twitter space is news that Krome Studios Adelaide have closed down and additional staff numbers drastically reduced at Krome Studios Melbourne and also at their main Brisbane studio. The number of staff cut at the Melbourne operation have been half of the studio. An estimated number of staff let go or are facing retrenchment is roughly over one hundred.
Additional reports say that there is a possibility that the Melbourne studio might also close in a few weeks. A four week notice has been given to staff, and if Krome's circumstances do not change within a month, then Krome Studios Melbourne will indeed close as well.
The once 400 staff strong Krome Studios have had major staff reductions in recent times, with a big round of cuts in late 2009 amidst the global financial crisis, and a further 50 employees let go in April this year.
The closure of Krome Studios Adelaide also ends the final legacy of another once mighty Australian games developer, Ratbag Games. Krome Studios had opened up operations in Adelaide back in early 2006 to house many ex-Ratbag Games staff who were left out of work when Midway abruptly closed down the studio before Christmas, 2005.
Additionally, Krome Studios Melbourne were previously Atari Melbourne House, another iconic Australia game development company who came into prominence in the 80's and were acquired by Krome Studios in late 2006.
The initial report is from Lylian developer, Robert Dowling, posting on Twitter...
(Robert) Oh no, Krome Studios Melbourne and Adelaide have closed... 60+ people from Brisbane gone. So I'm told
Games developer and ex-Ratbag Games programmer, Tony Albrecht, has confirmed the news by tweeting some additional information...
(Tony) My condolences to the Krome guys and gals that were let go today. Sometimes the Game Dev Industry sucks. Go get really drunk is my advice.
Yup - Adelaide Krome is shutting down and Melbourne and Brisbane have been cut back heavily. Krome Adelaide are already at the pub.
Offers of help and guidance
Numerous games industry personnel have posted their condolences and support via Twitter, including Games Developers Association of Australia CEO, Tony Reed, who has provided some information of jobs going at Big Ant...
(Tony) Looking for solutions for recently unemployed Krome staff. Big Ant in Melbourne are looking for engine programmers - www.bigant.com
Update from Big Ant - looking for engine, network and AI programmers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2K Marin-Canberra is looking for a gameplay programmer, a senior designer and a junior tech programmer. www.2kmarin.com - check careers link
Ex-Pandemic, now the founder of Defiant development, a new brisbane based independant developer, Morgan Jaffit, has offered his help and guidance for any ex-Krome staff who are thinking about going into independent games development...
(Morgan) Any Brisbane (or otherwise) Kromans looking for advice on going indy, feel free to drop a line through.
ex-Brisbane developers and now Melbourne indies, The Voxel Agents, are also offering a helping hand on going indie for recently redundant Krome staff...
(The Voxel Agents) If any #krome peeps in Melbourne want advice on going indie, we would be happy to help out as we can and to share what we've learned