Dark or Light

UPDATED 11/24: Major Layoffs at Red 5

William Murphy Posted:
News 0

We are hearing various reports from several anonymous sources that major layoffs have occurred at Firefall's Red 5 Studios. We do not know the amounts, or what will happen to the sci-fi MMO, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more. 

As of this writing, Firefall is still active and in development according to the website, as few updates have come from the community or development staff in recent weeks. 

As we learn more about the situation, you can bet we'll fill you in everything.

UPDATE 11/24: We've gotten word and a small statement from Red 5 Studios now. It seems the game is still in development and that the layoffs are likely due to no longer needing the staff that pushed to get the China version of Firefall out the door. We've inquired for further comment, but I suspect the below is about all we'll get from the studio itself for now. The PS4 version continues to be developed.

"The organization optimization was due to our strategy modification, which includes empowering the support to the operation in various global markets and the upcoming PS4 project. Doing so requires specific skill sets and experiences. Red 5 will continue its commitment to developing AAA games and bringing the best game experience to its audiences.

We appreciate your inquiry and interest in Red 5 Studios and Firefall as we take it worldwide on multiple platforms."

UPDATE 11/23: We've heard directly from one of the affected employees as of this morning. Apparently, the China launch actually happened in the wee hours last Wednesday morning. What came shortly after was unexpected.  We'll let the employee (who asked to remain anonymous) put it in their own words:

"It was almost like launch never happened, because we never received any updates besides a vague feeling that the game wasn’t doing very well. At 3:15 on Friday (11/20), about forty of us were called into a meeting where, after some hemming and hawing about how hard a decision this was to make, we were let go with no severance, health insurance expires at the end of the month, thanks for all your overtime. The rest of the office was sent home early, I assume because they didn’t want people talking to each other, but it’s 2015 and Facebook exists, so...

The cuts were from basically every department and didn’t follow any kind of rhyme or reason, and they definitely weren’t performance based. Aside from myself, we lost several leads, seniors, and people who’d been with the company a really long time.  In total, I’d say between 20 and 25% of the studio lost their job in the cuts.

Honestly, they asked us to remake the game in a year, including doing full development on 22 instanced missions and an overhaul of every major system, using art assets from 2008. I don’t know what they expected to happen. Everything that’s going wrong with Firefall isn’t from a lack of talent or passion on behalf of the dev team - it’s corporate mismanagement."


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.