The UK Jagex studio has confirmed that it is in a consultation process with staff working on the Transformers Universe project. Some staff members will be moved to other positions to work on other Jagex games (such as Runescape) and other staff members, to put it bluntly, won’t. The company sent a statement to GamesIndustry.biz that said the following:
“It is with regret that we can confirm some members of the Transformers Universe team will now be facing the possibility of redundancy. The proposed downsizing comes as the product reaches a new stage of development in its life cycle with a view to refining specific areas of gameplay for a live environment. Proposing to lay off staff is not something reached without due care and consideration and comes, in this instance, only at the end of a long period of deliberation. We remain grateful to all members of staff who will be affected by this process, and would like to thank them for all of their work on the game.
“Jagex human resources have already begun the consultation process with the team, and are looking into repositioning individuals to other existing or emerging roles. Opportunities on the evergreen RuneScape, its companion card battler Chronicle and one unannounced title will all be taken into consideration. Beyond internal relocation, every effort will be made to ensure that team members leaving the company do so in the best possible position to seek fresh employment.”
Jagex, best known for its long-running MMO Runescape, announced the free-to-play Transformers Universe MMO back in 2011. The game went into open beta in July of this year, and by most accounts is close to a final release. The fact that they are already experiencing layoffs before the game’s actual release doesn’t bode well for the company, though it should be noted that it’s not unusual for a developer to shed staff as development begins to wind down ahead of release. We’ll just have to wait and see to see how badly staff are affected.
This isn’t the only bad news Jagex has announced recently. Earlier this year, CEO Mark Gerhard publicly announced that he would be leaving the company in December. With the news of the CCG Chronicle under development, we wish Jagex all the best and look forward to playing it when it comes out. For more Jagex news, be it Transformers Universe, Chronicle or Runescape, keep your eyes on our homepage.