Such is the tentative nature of employment in the video game industry that, as soon as one studio opens its doors to begin recruiting again, we hear word of another that is forced to make layoffs. Swings and roundabouts, as they say. Because today, Psychonauts and Grim Fandango developer Double Fine has confirmed plans to layoff a dozen staff after a publisher withdrew funding and support for an as-yet-unannounced project.
Unfortunately, pulling the plug in this manner has effectively cancelled the mysterious project at the studio, and it’s unlikely we’ll find out what exactly it was in the first place. Chances are it was a product of Double Fine’s annual game development session Amnesia Fortnight — an event that produced this year’s atypical, The Legend of Zelda-inspired RPG, Hack N’ Slash — though we aren’t entirely certain.
In tandem with the announcement, studio founder Tim Schafer provided the following statement to Eurogamer:
“One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people. Our remaining projects – Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered – were unaffected.”
While it’s always troubling to see a project get the axe, it’s reassuring to note that these staff layoffs didn’t mar the development of the studio’s other titles.
Fans of the studio can look forward to the upcoming remastered version of Grim Fandango — we understand a playable version will be available to test out during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event in December — while devotees of the point-and-click adventure genre can look forward to Double Fine‘s Kickstarter-funded Broken Age: Act II when it finally makes its bow.