Melbourne development studio Transmission Games, best known for their work on Ashes Cricket 2009, has let go over 30 of its employees this week, Kotaku has heard.
The lay offs come shortly after Transmission shipped Ashes Cricket 2009 for Codemasters and Heroes Over Europe for Ubisoft. We were told that the redundancies occurred on Wednesday, September 30, and comprised of 30 full-time staff - primarily coders, as well as all remaining QA staff, which accounted for a third of the total studio.
It seems Transmission were forced to cut costs after failing to secure several publishing deals. Transmisison had been hoping to sign a deal to work on a game based on a major upcoming movie, but that deal apparently fell through this week.
According to an internal email sent by Transmission CEO Mike Fegan, the studio was also pitching another project in a well-known franchise to the same international publisher.
"We finally heard back from XXXX this morning and the news is mixed as [licensed movie game]is currently on hold due to a legal IP problem with the film and no indication on when this issue will be fixed. As part of our fall back plan we have now submitted a pre-prepared pitch for [a sequel to an existing IP]and they also want us to pitch on another project but the reality is we will not have another project in place with them for at least 60-90 days."
Also contributing to the financial woes is a project called Rotorhead, an arcade style helicopter game, for which Transmission has been unable to find a publisher.
In better news, other internal emails obtained by Kotaku indicate that they will be working on a new Cricket game for Codemasters, codenamed Cricket 2010 and due for release next year. And a previously announced Jane's F-22 flight sim to be published by Evolved Games is still in production.
Note: This post has been altered since its original publication.