Rumour: Fresh Staff Cuts At 2K's Canberra Studio

We've just received word from an anonymous source that 2K's Canberra studio, which was renamed 2K Marin in a recent shuffle, has undergone redundancies, with up to 15 staff members losing their jobs.

At the moment that appears to be the extent of the damage, but in an increasingly hostile industry environment, which has seen multiple local studios close over the last couple of months, losing staff members is not a positive place to be.

We've been in contact with 2K locally and hope to get an official update soon.

If you were let go by 2K Marin, and you wish to get in contact with us, email us here.


Comments

    Very unfortunate but not much of a suprise. It seems to be the way the industry is going here.

    well it is a support studio providing cheaper labour due to the dollar being so weak. Now its stronger its no longer cheaper.

    This could be the beginning of the end, lets hope not. But if X-COM doesn't do fantastic, it will be most likely the end for the Canberra studio. Hopefully the rest find work or start new studios. I have a strong feeling tho that most of those staff would of been QA.

      Sad to hear an Aussie studio being described as a source of cheap labour only. So we're the programming equivalent of a Chinese factory are we?

        I'd actually be interested to see that we are cheaper even when the dollar was nicer for them.

        I would figure cost of having them employed here as opposed to america isn't that much of an advantage financially speaking.

          @McGarnical, We were for alot of studios, and from the Eyes of American based publishers thats basically how they saw the studios, since they closed them down as soon as the dollar sjyrocketed.

          @Alinos, You are a American based Publisher in the early 2000s, you are going to develop this licence game on this new childrens movie, you can say spend (rough made up figures) of $500,000 USD on getting it developed in the US or spend say 300,000 and get it made in Australia, by highly reliable and efficient workforce because at the time 1 USD = 2 AUD. These are rough figures but lets say it was much cheaper to develop here in the eyes of an American developer then in the US.

          Entitlements australians get that US people do not

          -4 weeks annual leave (2 weeks in US)
          -Long Service Leave (not an issue here)
          -Superannuation (kinda big)
          -Cost of living is higher, higher wage base
          -Company tax is paid here 30%. company tax in the US? Maximum 9.94%

          Just to name a few. The AU$ being high is making it VERY expensive to maintain these au studios

        Pretty much.

        The majority of Australian studios are used either as grunt work for bigger projects being developed in the US or for churning out quick buck franchise tie ins. Now that the US and Aus $ are reaching parity this business practice is becoming impractical.

        If you're in Australia and want to make games your best bets are either to go indie and start your own company or move over seas.

      Pulling up a development diary trailer for XCom, Jonathan Pelling seems to be the lead designer on the project and he's an Australian.

      I'm not sure how many people are at 2k in Canberra...considering the majority of their work was co-developing games like Bioshock with the overseas studios, maybe they had a relatively small team (certainly not a large enough team to make a full game by themselves). If that's the case, 15 employees may be a pretty significant percentage of their work force.

    It's not just the video game industry. I work for a software development company owned by a US company. In the last 10 years, our R&D staff have gone from over 150 staff to just under 30, with 4 redundancies this week.

    It's hard for American companies to keep labs in Australia, with the rising dollar on their end all they can see is a branch that is becoming more expensive, yet we're not seeing it that way as we're still being paid the same.

      Seconding this. Previous job I was at I watched my development group slowly get whittled down by attrition. They weren't willing to fire anyone until around about the point I had had enough, but until then they would watch people slip away slowly over time, replacing them with people in India on a quarter the wage. :(

      The other problem is that a lot of the better developers out there have gone overseas and it's hard to fill open positions with people who are actually good at the job.

    Here's what I don't get. Why aren't pay cuts considered a viable cost-cutting measure anymore?
    I'm sure the employees would be willing to take a minor pay cut as a branch rather than several employees being made redundant, increasing the workload for others.

      I'm going to go ahead and guess you don't work in the games industry?

      We're already taking pay cuts just by being game developers. I took a 20% pay cut just to get in the door.

    Deja-vu???

    Also "has seen undergone redundancies"
    You rushing Mark? ;)

    Is it any surprise? You have to be a pretty hardcore nationalist to think Australia can compete globally with... Anything, really.

      Australia: World number 1 in larrikanism since 1788.

    When you say about taking paycuts the ammounts that people would have to drop their salary by would mean they would earn more in Coles. Pay in the games industry is already low in comparison with other related industries, because it is seen as a desirable job. But its not very desirable if you can't pay the bills.

    Funny how you never talk about when the Perth studios close down.

    But according to Tony Reed the Australian games industry is doing "really great right now"...

    If you're looking at reasons i'd suggest the rising $AUS as has been suggested earlier..

    Another reason, how about gaming companies contribute sometihng interesting to the scene and not generic FPS no.2277799 this year.. ?

    Given the overwhelming panning, if they kept X-COM true to what the game was (and not a generic FPS), then they wouldn't be in this mess.. I blame Hartmann for his myopic appraisal of the current gaming market...and what gamers want.

    But had the game been turn based / tactical squad based game, Marin wouldn't have gotten it anyway...

    Have I missed the official announcement from 2K about this? Or hasn't there been one? Shame on you 2K if you haven't bothered to make an official announcement about something this serious. And shame on the Australian games industry for not following up on it themselves...

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