Shafer criticises industry lay-offs

Written by David Hing

October 24, 2012 // 7:04 a.m.

Tags: #double-fine #funding #industry #job-cuts #tim-shafer

Tim Shafer has slammed the common practise of games studios axing their development teams at the end of projects.

Speaking to Wired, the Double Fine studio head stated that developers will eventually need to rely on a team's loyalty and that regularly cutting teams will not nurture this.

'One of the most frustrating things about the games industry is that teams of people come together to make a game, and maybe they struggle and make mistakes along the way, but by the end of the game they’ve learned a lot and this is usually when they are disbanded,' said Shafer.

Shafer held on to the team that worked on Psychonauts for the development of Brutal Legend, trading money that the studio would have saved at the early stages of the title's production cycle in return for keeping a team on staff that had experience working together.

Earlier this month, Lionhead studios laid off 10% of its staff following the completion of Fable: The Journey, arguing that it was a perfectly normal part of the game design process.

Double Fine has experimented with different forms of game development funding and has recently experimented with crowd funding, raising $3.3m for a traditional adventure game through Kickstarter.

It has also secured private investment, including $1 million from Xe.com founder Steve Dengler, which allowed Double Fine to port Psychonauts to Mac and publish Stacking and Costume Quest on the PC.

Double Fine has recently been working on its first mobile title. It accidentally released the title, Middle Manager of Justice, for a brief period last month, writing the mistake off as an inadvertent beta test.
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