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Disney lays off up to 100 Propaganda staff

By Matt Martin

Fri 15 Oct 2010 7:29am GMT / 3:29am EDT / 12:29am PDT

Cancels Pirates of the Caribbean title as it restructures studio

Disney has axed staff at its Vancouver studio Propaganda, the developer working on Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron titles.

The Pirates game, Armada of the Damned, has been cancelled, and according to a report by Kotaku, up to 100 members of staff have been let go.

"Disney Interactive Studios confirms the cancellation of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned videogame which was scheduled to be released in 2011," said Angela Emery, Disney Interactive Studios' vice president of communication.

"As a result of this decision, Disney Interactive Studios completed a restructuring of Propaganda Games, its Vancouver, BC internal studio, affecting one of the studio's two development teams."

The studio will now become a one-game team focusing on Tron: Evolution, which is still due before the end of the year, along with additional downloadable content.

Disney acquired Propaganda in 2006 when it embarked on an acquisition spree, scooping up Avalanche Software and Climax Racing, and a year later Fall Line Studios and Junction Point.

From Recommendations by Taboola


here;s hoping for a good Tron tie in that works well independently from the franchise.

Posted:6 years ago


Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 708 0.8
Jeez - not a nice way to start my Friday morning!

I have a lot of friends in Vancouver and have done a bit with Propaganda, I hope they're all ok. From what I've heard Vancouver is becoming more and more expensive to live in, hope that doesn't bode ill for the industry there. At least not for the next few years, we were planning on moving there!

Posted:6 years ago


Pierre Vandenbroucke Assistant de production, Gorgone Productions

47 0 0.0
Strange move, with the 4th movie due to realease May 2011, eventhough the film and game are not fully related, I thought the release in cinemas would be the perfect kicker for the game.

Too bad, I was expecting that game. Yarrrr!`
Good luck to all the people concerned.

Posted:6 years ago

Thus does it mean other areas in canada are more cost effective to live/develop in?

Posted:6 years ago


Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games

86 34 0.4
Vancouver is the most expensive city to live in in Canada. (still a lot cheaper than London though!)

Posted:6 years ago

and still cheaper than San fran or Moscow :)

Posted:6 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
That's wierd; I had to read through that final paragraph a couple of times and go and look on Wikipedia before I realised Avalanche Software were not the Just Cause developers!

Anyway, this is crappy news - PotC: AotD was actually looking and sounding really nice. I hope Tron 2 finds some commercial success, and that those let go manage to find work soon enough. Sadly, Disney don't seem to be having too much success with their videogame ventures just yet.

Posted:6 years ago


Mbuso Radebe Associate Producer, Smoking Gun Interactive Inc.

57 23 0.4
Some bad news this morning for my fellow Vancouverites. I hope you guys can find something soon. The game industry employment scene in Van is tough right now, so I really do wish you guys the best in securing work. Hang in there.

Posted:6 years ago


Bruce Stamm Director, Babel Media

1 0 0.0
Montreal is still booming and the cost of living is about half of Vancouver's

Posted:6 years ago


Jonathan Gervasi Game Designer

1 0 0.0
Sad... I was expecting that game... looked REAL nice!

Posted:6 years ago


Charles Lentz Game Developer, Stardock

15 0 0.0
Personally I'd rather they went ahead with the Pirates game instead of the Tron game. Just from a "which game I'd rather purchase" standpoint.

Posted:6 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
I agree Charles, but maybe the Pirates... development wasn't coming along well whereas the Tron game is (and one must assume that it's practically finished by now).

I liked the sound of Armada of the Damned - it was being positioned as a Fable-like action adventure in the PotC universe, which sounds to me like a pretty solid idea. On balance, there aren't enough action adventures and there aren't enough pirate games for my liking.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 15th October 2010 4:51pm

Posted:6 years ago


Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Saddens me to read about this. Horribly ruthless.

Posted:6 years ago


Luke Child

13 1 0.1
Damn, one of the few games I was looking forward to playing next year too. Shame really as it was looking to be a POTC game worth buying, the last one I bought that was really enjoyable was the POTC from 2003. Still good luck to the 100 that got laid off.

Posted:6 years ago


Private Industry

1,176 183 0.2
That`s bad news so short before Christmas and a real shame also about the game as it looked really nice, they could at least put it on hold until Tron is finished instead of cancel it.

Posted:6 years ago


C T Studying Introductory Gaming I, British Columbia Institute of Technology

1 0 0.0
yea, most expensive to live in, but cheapest to do business ... end of day thats wat matters. Lotsa tax credits, staff costs r cheap, low business income tax. Restructuring here ain't totally about costs...chopping dead wood.

Posted:6 years ago


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