Last week, Krome Studios — developers of several Star Wars & Spyro titles — laid off a number of employees as tough times hit the veteran Australian development house.
We've been told by sources directly affected by the cuts that roughly 50 developers (a sizeable number of Krome's total workforce) were let go from the company's Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne branches last Thursday and Friday. The main culprits? A super-high Aussie dollar (making US-backed development expensive) and what's described as a "lack of contracts".
Krome CEO Robert Walsh put a more official slant on the causes in the following statement, sent to GameSpot:
Regrettably, an undisclosed number of employees across each of Krome's three studio locations were informed they would be let go.
With declining game sales, the industry is really feeling the effects of the struggling economy. In spite of industry-wide cutbacks and Krome's need to reduce costs, we've worked really hard to minimise the impact on our staff. These cuts, while incredibly difficult as they affect the coworkers we consider friends, are necessary as we position Krome for the future. We're also actively pursuing several business opportunities which, if secured, will enable Krome to reemploy some of the staff given notice.
Krome also worked on the PS2 and Wii versions of the latest Transformers game, and were the creators of the last generation's Ty: The Tasmanian Tiger series.