'Further redundanciesâ?? at Realtime Worlds [UPDATE 5]

'Further redundanciesâ?? at Realtime Worlds [UPDATE 5]

By Rob Crossley

August 13th 2010 at 12:05PM

Source claims consultation talks are to take place at the popular APB studio - statement expected soon

Develop has heard that Realtime Worlds is beginning a process of staff redundancies, with many of its workforce set for consultation talks.

[Update 5: Realtime Worlds confirms staff cuts, while studio manager Colin Macdonald insists the group will hold firm.]

No one at the studio was available to comment at the time of going to press – though clarification on the matter is being pursued. 

Breaking reports are now beginning to suggest the layoffs are more severe than initially thought. A separate source told news site VG247 that as many as sixty staff will exit the studio.

[HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY THE MATTER? CONTACT DEVELOP HERE.]

In July the studio said it was to restructure following the five-year All Points Bulletin (APB) project.

Of that restructuring, a small number of staff were said to be made redundant, and a second unnamed project will be downscaled.

Soon after, the Dundee outfit made a surprise reveal of that second game, known as Project MyWorld.

Yet VG247’s source suggested the entire project has been thrown into disarray.

“The MyWorld team has been completely laid off,” the source was quoted as saying.

[Update 1: GamesIndustry.biz is now claiming that at least two high-profile publishers declined to sign a deal with Realtime Worlds for Project MyWorld - perhaps a signal that the surprise announcement of the game was a last-minute bid for new investment].

Develop was told the measures were not as drastic – that redundancies will not take place until consultation began on who were surplus to requirements.

The tide began to turn for Realtime Worlds shortly after the release of All Points Bulletin – an ambitious sandbox action MMO that took nearly five years to develop.

The project, which hit full-scale production after the cult title Crackdown, was at the mercy of numerous bleak reviews – followed by suggestions that the game’s servers have failed to fill to full capacity.

[Update 2: An anonymous and unverified comment on news site VG247 claims that "as of 11:30 GMT Realtime Worlds have put a large proportion on their workforce on gardening leave ranging from 4-8 weeks". The source suggests the studio's eventual layoffs will be far higher than what is being reported.]

[Update 3: A statement is expected to arrive shortly]

[Update 4: Studio community officer suggests studio won't close completely]