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Aliens:CM Co-Developer Layoffs; BioWare San Fran Closed

By - Source: GamesRadar | B 20 comments

Around 55 developers spanning two studios are now looking for jobs.

It probably isn't a surprise that Aliens: Colonial Marines (A:CM) co-developer (?) TimeGate Studios was hit with layoffs. The game has been one of the most controversial titles since Duke Nukem Forever, and currently looks to fall in place next to Ion Storm's "legendary" Daikatana and Atari's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

For TimeGate, the news of layoffs is unfortunate given the developer's portfolio prior to it’s A:CM involvement including Section 8 and the awesome F.E.A.R. series. Rumor has it that around 25 people were let go Monday morning, and possibly due to a publishing deal that fell through last week.

TimeGate president Adel Chaveleh confirmed with Polygon that some of the team has been let go, but didn't verify the actual number. "Today, we had to make the difficult decision to let go of some great game developers," he said. "This is never easy, and we're doing all we can to assist those developers affected."

Chaveleh added that TimeGate is preparing (as is the entire industry) for the transition to next-generation consoles and new business models. "As part of this reinvention, all projects and strategic initiatives continue to move forward at the studio," he said.

So far there's no real answer as to how much input TimeGate had in the A:CM project. Just before the game's launch, Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford claimed that TimeGate spent an equal amount of time working on the project as Gearbox. Many have claimed that Gearbox mismanaged the entire production while one anonymous Sega official actually accused Gearbox of embezzlement.

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts has reportedly closed the BioWare studio in San Francisco, laying off 25 to 30 employees. This studio, focused on mobile and social games development, was best known for developing the now-closed Dragon Age: Legends for Facebook and the browser-based Mirror's Edge 2D. The studio was originally launched as EA2D but was branded as a BioWare studio in August 2011.

This sudden closure was actually expected, as Frank Gibeau mentioned that a change was coming after Sony semi-revealed the PlayStation 4 in late February.

"Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives," he said. "But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance.  This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations.  These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job."

Additional sources claim that EA found that it was just too expensive to develop mobile titles in Redwood Shores, California. Nevertheless, there are now roughly 55 ex-BioWare and ex-TimeGate developers now on the streets looking for new jobs.

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  • 7 Hide
    casualcolors , March 6, 2013 7:03 AM
    The people comparing ACM to E.T. or Daikatana are just reaffirming the fact that they have never played Daikatana or E.T. heh
  • 4 Hide
    demonhorde665 , March 6, 2013 8:57 AM
    casualcolorsThe people comparing ACM to E.T. or Daikatana are just reaffirming the fact that they have never played Daikatana or E.T. heh



    actually i dont think it's fair to compare it to duke nukem forever either.seriously don'tget the bad reviews DNF got ,i've seen far worse games get far higher scores on meta critic than DNF did , it just makes no since , the game should have got at least 75 , sure that's not stellar and the game was a let down , but all in all the game wasn't that bad. alien's CM was far beyound being a let down.
  • 4 Hide
    alidan , March 6, 2013 10:11 AM
    demonhorde665actually i dont think it's fair to compare it to duke nukem forever either.seriously don'tget the bad reviews DNF got ,i've seen far worse games get far higher scores on meta critic than DNF did , it just makes no since , the game should have got at least 75 , sure that's not stellar and the game was a let down , but all in all the game wasn't that bad. alien's CM was far beyound being a let down.

    from my understanding, most places reviewed the console version
    the pc version of DNF was actually fairly ok... not spectacular, and definatly had flaws, but the consoles where very bad.

    casualcolorsThe people comparing ACM to E.T. or Daikatana are just reaffirming the fact that they have never played Daikatana or E.T. heh


    et is playable, and beatable, in less than 5 minutes if you know what you are doing, but a bad game
    daikatana was really screwed over by the partner ai, something that was omitted by the consoles, and the game is somewhat ok on the consoles, at least for its time...

    A:CM really falls closer to daikatana than it does et... but A:CM didnt have the hype that daikatana had... not by a long shot... and i dont remember any clearly decietfull practices in daikatana or et marketing where they showed a good game, and had people play a good game, than release crap... id call the company worse than the et and daikatana ones, because of practices, but the game marginally better than daikatana, but worse than DNF
  • 6 Hide
    spentshells , March 6, 2013 11:24 AM
    EA you seriously suck
  • 7 Hide
    razor512 , March 6, 2013 11:31 AM
    And nothing of value was lost from bioware
  • 6 Hide
    targetdrone , March 6, 2013 11:49 AM
    When Does EA fire the people responsible for SimCity 5?
    When do they elect a new board of directors?
  • 2 Hide
    dormantreign , March 6, 2013 12:34 PM
    At this rate were all going to be left with EA & Activision only. On a sidenote EA refunded me my money on Simcity....what a crap game. I did a nice review of the thing on youtube, the beta and game. Search likeanddislikes on youtube before you buy that pos.
  • -1 Hide
    ddpruitt , March 6, 2013 1:40 PM
    Sounds more like dev studios don't think the next gen consoles have much of a future, for that matter neither do I.
  • 0 Hide
    jerrspud , March 6, 2013 2:12 PM
    I liked E.T. Yeah it had bugs, but it was one of the few 2600 games that you forced you to complete objectives and actually had an end.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 6, 2013 2:22 PM
    News just in, the fired developers have formed their own company and will be releasing:

    Daikatana 2! You Will Make Us Your Bitch Edition!
  • 1 Hide
    spartanmk2 , March 6, 2013 2:28 PM
    Would like to see a few Activision-Blizzard devs on the street looking for a job...
  • 1 Hide
    danielmunhato , March 6, 2013 2:32 PM
    what we need now it´s a directx 11 patch for ACM, at least.
  • 0 Hide
    Ro0ster , March 6, 2013 3:03 PM
    Game was on the radar for so many gamers and involves one of the most coveted storylines in Sci-Fi. It failed on a scale that brought all those people touting its greatness to a seat at a table serving crow and they don't like the taste. So, burn the place down with you if you're going anyway. The storyline gaps are indicative of a producer that doesnt give a shit about the story and just wants something out there thats 'cool' in their eyes. Had they at least addressed the storyline gaps, the game wouldnt had been nearly as terrible.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2013 4:35 PM
    The "awesome" F.E.A.R." series had nothing to do with TimeGate. You can thank Monolith for that. All TimeGate did was make it less awesome.
  • 3 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , March 6, 2013 5:14 PM
    razor512And nothing of value was lost from bioware


    Bioware has nothing of value left to lose.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , March 6, 2013 7:03 PM
    Again the wrong people were let go, it was management that put the company in its current position and they should be hit first!!!
  • 0 Hide
    davemaster84 , March 7, 2013 2:07 AM
    I don't understand why people go this hard on Aliens CM, it's a good game, it has a nice story plot, good enviroment, it's a good shooter and has it's moments. Probably they failed in two very important things, first the graphics aren't as good as they are supposed to be, if you remember alien vs predator from 2010 it had awesome graphics and it's still used as benchmark tool, and in the other hand they used something very sacred for alien's fans which is the second movie (the best in my opinion) so the spectations went to the roof.
  • 0 Hide
    Ro0ster , March 7, 2013 4:18 PM
    davemaster84I don't understand why people go this hard on Aliens CM...


    The game graphics arent what make the game great (which were nothing close to the E3 teaser) and who wants to play for eye-candy alone? The devs promoted this as a true 'sequel' to Aliens and promoted it as such. No way in hell should that ever be done while ignoring the blatant plot-holes and inconsistencies. Expectations went through the roof because thats how the game was promoted and as you pointed out, Aliens is probably the most coveted of the storyline over all in the series.
  • 0 Hide
    mamailo , March 10, 2013 3:45 PM
    casualcolorsThe people comparing ACM to E.T. or Daikatana are just reaffirming the fact that they have never played Daikatana or E.T. heh

    The absolute truth.
    There is a lot of things wrong in A:CM,There is nothing right in E.T.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 10, 2013 6:01 PM
    mamailoThe absolute truth.There is a lot of things wrong in A:CM,There is nothing right in E.T.


    like i said, there is nothing good about et from a game stand point with an et license, but that said, et is a fully functioning game if you understand how to play it.

    im willing to bet there are more game breaking glitches in A:CM than there are in et...

    that said, i would rather play A:CM