Startup Smith & Tinker axes 30% of workforce

Startup Smith & Tinker axes 30% of workforce

By Rob Crossley

December 2nd 2009 at 3:51PM

â??We staffed aggressively early on to meet deadlinesâ?, firm admits

Washington-based start-up Smith & Tinker has laid off about 30 percent of its workforce, citing over-ambitious staffing as the firm was established.

Lead designer-cum-serial entrepreneur Jordan Weisman set up the studio late in December 2007, after heading up the now defunct Microsoft first-party developer FASA.

Weisman snapped up the rights to Shadowrun, Crimson Skies and MechWarrior, but in August this year the Washington-based group announced its new range of games and toys based on the Nanovor franchise – delivering a Pokemon-esque online card-battle game targeted at the lucrative 8-12 year-old boys market.

The group had struck $29m in VC funding for the new project.

But this week the company had to cut its workforce by around 30 percent of its staff; a figure which a Venturebeat report claims to account for around 15 members of its workforce.

“As many startups do, we staffed aggressively early on to meet deadlines for launching our product online and at retail this year”, read a company statement.

But the firm refused to link the redundancies to the retail performance of Nanovor.

“Nanovor has been recognized by FunFare and Dr. Toy as a hot toy for 2009 and has seen strong consumer adoption to date,” the company said.

“Smith & Tinker continues to receive solid support from our board. Employees leaving the company will receive severance packages.”


Image: Flickr