40 staff axed from Mafia studio 2K Czech

40 staff axed from Mafia studio 2K Czech

By Rob Crossley

September 1st 2011 at 12:22PM

Euro group still has resources for triple-A projects, publisher Take-Two says

2K Czech, one of Europe’s leading triple-A studios, has lost more than 40 staff from a studio-wide redundancy operation.

The job terminations have taken place across two studios operating under the 2K Czech brand. One group, based in Brno, has lost up to 40 developers, inside sources have told Develop.

Another studio, based in Prague, is thought to have lost less than ten staff.

Both outfits had together employed nearly 200 people before the layoffs, meaning that 2K Czech has lost around a quarter of development personnel.

2K Games, and its owning company Take-Two, has insisted that the substantial workforce reduction is not a foretoken to a change of direction for 2K Czech.

“Our goal to create world-class video game titles remains unchanged,” the company told Develop.

In a written statement, the group confirmed that 2K Czech “has realigned its resources to streamline the development process, reduce costs and maximize studio performance”.

“This will result in the elimination of approximately 40 positions and primarily impact the 2K Czech studio in Brno. While this was a difficult decision, we believe it will benefit the studio in the long-term,” the statement read.

Originally founded as Illusion Softworks, the European studio was rebranded 2K Czech in 2008. Since then it has completed work on two multiplatform projects.

Mafia 2, released in 2010, sold well at retail though analysts suspected the game wouldn’t turn a profit. Whether there is any truth to the suggestion is not known.

Top Spin 4, released a year later, will have likely outperformed internal retail expectations. The game, buoyed by the Wimbledon craze, had sold out across the UK.