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Layoffs Confirmed at Warner Bros.' Seattle Studios

Unknown how many employees were affected by the "staff reductions."

The surprisingly interesting Gotham City Imposters was the last game out of Monolith.

Bummer day for the video game industry. On the back of Microsoft Flight’s cancellation and layoffs at a Microsoft Game Studios office in Vancouver, there are layoffs at Warner Bros.’ Seattle studios.

Rumors of Warner Bros. layoffs started on Twitter this afternoon, and were then confirmed by Warner Bros. in a brief statement released by the publisher this afternoon.

“Due to shifting business imperatives, WB Games Seattle has made staff reductions. The group will continue to remain an integral part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.”

The company declined to provide any specifics on the “staff reductions.”

The Seattle arm of Warner Bros. includes Monolith Productions, Snowblind Studios, and Surreal Software.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
81 Comments
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Posted by patrickklepek
The surprisingly interesting Gotham City Imposters was the last game out of Monolith.

Bummer day for the video game industry. On the back of Microsoft Flight’s cancellation and layoffs at a Microsoft Game Studios office in Vancouver, there are layoffs at Warner Bros.’ Seattle studios.

Rumors of Warner Bros. layoffs started on Twitter this afternoon, and were then confirmed by Warner Bros. in a brief statement released by the publisher this afternoon.

“Due to shifting business imperatives, WB Games Seattle has made staff reductions. The group will continue to remain an integral part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.”

The company declined to provide any specifics on the “staff reductions.”

The Seattle arm of Warner Bros. includes Monolith Productions, Snowblind Studios, and Surreal Software.

Staff
Posted by RainbowCarnage

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Posted by patrickklepek

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Posted by RainbowCarnage

@Guyzea said:

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LMNOP

Posted by UndeadPatPat

geez, seems like everybody is laying off staff.

Posted by JaredA
@42manZ

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Posted by Akyho

@RainbowCarnage said:

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B3! Ive sunk your battleship!

Posted by ScaryGaryofAk

you are all ridiculous.. lol

Posted by mrpandaman

@RainbowCarnage said:

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qrs

Posted by MooseyMcMan

The bad news just keeps on coming!

Moderator
Posted by AjayRaz

NO! NOT MONOLITH!

Posted by Winternet

@mrpandaman said:

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qrs

I . . I don't know the alphabet.

Posted by Hosstile17

Damn shame. I hope this doesn't mean we won't see another proper F.E.A.R. game.

Posted by CrossTheAtlantic

@Winternet said:

@mrpandaman said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

@Guyzea said:

@BeachThunder said:

@42manZ said:

@patrickklepek said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

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qrs

I . . I don't know the alphabet.

Oh it's easy! The next piece of the pattern is:

2

Posted by laserbolts

Damn I cant beleive I once wanted to work at making a video game. Seems like quite the gamble nowadays.

Posted by mr_woo

Leave Monolith alone you fucking assholes. They're killing that studio slowly but surely :(

Posted by DukesT3

cunt.

Posted by Kubelwagen

God dammit, now I'll never get my NOLF 3.

Posted by doomocrat

Punishment for moderate success? Could have sworn Activision had the patent on that.

Posted by Rmack

@mr_woo said:

Leave Monolith alone you fucking assholes. They're killing that studio slowly but surely :(

SERIOUSLY! WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE DAMN MONOLITH?!

Edited by Heartagram

Dammit no Condemned 3 sigh =*( Best of luck to all these talented guys. Hopefully they can find new work at other studios.The Condemned games are probably my favorite of this gen.

Posted by MjHealy

Wait, is Monolith still a company or are all three of these developers just experiencing lay-offs?

Posted by DetectiveSpecial

If this means I don't get Condemned 3, I will cut a bitch.

And I don't want it from another studio, on an engine that's not Jupiter EX based. Like FEAR 3.

Fuck you forever, Warner Brothers.

Posted by Foggen

And here I am wishing for some more Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance-style love from Snowblind.

Posted by Napalm

Hey guys, do you remember when Monolith Productions, Inc. were doing their own thing, making F.E.A.R. and making a killing?

Yeah, I miss those days, too.

Posted by mr_woo

Unfortunately there was never going to be a Condemned 3 anyway. The second game sold like shit and it's basically a 'dead' franchise, this was confirmed by an Ex Monolith developer who posts on NeoGAF. I love that studios games and have been following them since a teenager years ago (fuck me I'm old). Even their supposedly 'bad' sequels like FEAR 2 and Condemned 2 I think are brilliant, Condemned 2 being one of the best drunken hobo nightmares I've ever played. Gotham City Impostors is a fuckton of fun as well, even now on 360 you can get a match practically anytime of the day. One of the few XBLA games to still have a pretty big community.

Posted by Akyho

@laserbolts said:

Damn I cant beleive I once wanted to work at making a video game. Seems like quite the gamble nowadays.

It always has been a gamble, as Dave Lang and other ex midway employees can a test too. Most of them gave up on games and went to more "Stable" jobs. Just its a bigger one right now.

Posted by gaminghooligan

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Winternet said:

@mrpandaman said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

@Guyzea said:

@BeachThunder said:

@42manZ said:

@patrickklepek said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

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LMNOP

qrs

I . . I don't know the alphabet.

Oh it's easy! The next piece of the pattern is:

2

so then 4?

Posted by ShaggE

If news pops up later saying that Monolith was working on Blood 3 before the layoff, I will find those responsible and devour their souls.

Posted by Brodehouse

Fucking does Surreal even exist anymore?

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@Napalm said:

Hey guys, do you remember when Monolith Productions, Inc. were doing their own thing, making F.E.A.R. and making a killing?

Yeah, I miss those days, too.

The real tragedy here is that we'll likely never get BLOOD 3.

Posted by casper_

1. take studio who have succeeded in the past on their own projects

2. force them to make something out of some bullshit IP you own

3. if it fails proceed to step 4. if it hits run the ip into the ground and then proceed to step 4

4. destroy studio

Posted by CornBREDX

That's really lame. I really like Monolith.

Blood was great, F.E.A.R was great, and other games they did that I loved that are escaping me right now. That's a real bummer.

Sucks when people lose their jobs too, but this seems normal in the game industry. They'll recover somehow.

Posted by Winternet

@Brodehouse said:

Fucking does Surreal even exist anymore?

Man, that studio is . . surreal. (yeah, I'm gonna go now)

Edited by mr_woo

Unfortunately Blood is another franchise considered 'dead' so it's almost guaranteed they weren't working on it. Blood 2 was probably their weakest game though (even though I enjoyed it still) but Blood 1 was mostly made by 3D Realms before Monolith finished it off and they went in a completely different direction for Blood 2 whilst I preferred the direction of Blood 1 (and its locations, weapons etc)

I think it's becoming increasingly obvious that the 'old guard' Monolith are mostly gone due to all the layoffs but GCI shows that studio still has a lot of talent. I have a feeling that they may become more of a digital distribution developer for PSN/XBLA than anything else but I hope I'm VERY wrong about that. I want more of their weird, quirky single player goodness :( They're one of the few FPS developers left with their own unique style FFS.

Posted by Zaxex

Yet more companies that have made games I bought and really enjoyed are firing employees.

Are many other industries as temperamental as the video games one?

Zynga's doing poorly right now, so I won't say there's no justice, but this still sucks.

Posted by Brodehouse
@Napalm

Hey guys, do you remember when Monolith Productions, Inc. were doing their own thing, making F.E.A.R. and making a killing?

Yeah, I miss those days, too.

The problem is, who's to say that they've even retained all the key talent that made those games great? Who's to say that even if they have, the key guys are still flush with inspiration and new creative ideas? With the level of turnover and promotion, it's hard to say a studio is really the same 5 years later, let alone 10-12.

It's like the Ship of Theseus, when it goes out to sea and throughout its journey all the pieces get damaged and replaced until it returns to home port, do you still call it the Ship of Theseus, or is it an entirely different ship?
Posted by _Zombie_

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Winternet said:

@mrpandaman said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

@Guyzea said:

@BeachThunder said:

@42manZ said:

@patrickklepek said:

@RainbowCarnage said:

d

e

f

g

h

LMNOP

qrs

I . . I don't know the alphabet.

Oh it's easy! The next piece of the pattern is:

2

Wrong, wrong, WRONG. It's very clearly 4. 2 comes after Q. Ugh, some people..

Posted by Xymox

in b4 SHOGO MAD 2

Posted by JuggaloAcidman

Gotham City Imposters is an awesome game! There are alot of crappy developers out there making good money on awful games... Monolith deserves better!

Online
Posted by Brodehouse
@patrickklepek I just realized something, Patrick; we only hear the negative I this situation. We rarely hear where these guys move on to, and we never hear when studios are hiring outside of new game rumors. It's only in extreme situations like the 38 support stuff when you hear about new positions opening up (or new, smaller studios opening up). For instance, the SWTOR downsizing after production led to a three-person indie studio named Stoic to form, who are making a story-driven SRPG called The Banner Saga (that I'm super excited for).

I think a lot of people have a sense of the industry getting smaller and smaller, because they only hear of this studio got canned, these guys got layed off, and they might not get that most of these guys will be alright. New studios will form, these guys will find new jobs. I don't know what can be done to give a true sense of a career path in this industry, but there's definitely a warped sense of how it goes for those on the outside. Maybe there's something to be said on that topic?
Posted by abombb

It's always sad to see great developers take hits like this.

Posted by Napalm

@Brodehouse: Keep your dumb metaphors to yourself, Brodey.

Posted by Ghost_Cat

Really hurts to hear Monolith take a beating like that.

Posted by Brodehouse

@Napalm said:

@Brodehouse: Keep your dumb metaphors to yourself, Brodey.

? Cool.

Posted by Nunchuckles

Every month there's a layoff... :(

Posted by 234r2we232

Slow news day, but Patrick's gonna meet that quota somehow.

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