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Redundancies spark strike at Eden Games

Over 50 of 80 staff set for axe at Test Drive Unlimited developer

Test Drive Unlimited developer Eden Games is facing redundancies, with 51 of the 80-strong studio facing the axe.

The move by owner Atari has upset the French studio, which is today striking in protest of what it sees as continuous restructuring plans by a parent company that does not communicate with its employees.

"Eden Games pays now for Atari mismanagement," said the studio. "For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties.

"Restructuring plans have been following each others for 10 years at Atari. Each time the recovery project was beautiful and promising, and ended in a failure. We are sceptical about the proposed project."

"Atari does not play the game of negotiations with employee representatives on the redundancy plan measures. Employee representatives of Eden until now have been extremely collaborative, respecting the very tight deadlines of the redundancy plan."

In a show of solidarity, the company is striking and setting out a four point agenda to:

  • Communicate and interact with the CEO, Jim Wilson, who has never introduced himself to his employees.
  • Have a constructive negotiation on the terms of the redundancy plan, and not one-sided as is the case now.
  • Be sure that an employee of Eden Games is compensated the same way as an employee of Atari.
  • Have real visibility on the future of the studio after the restructuring, especially in giving us the financial records requested by our accountant.

GamesIndustry.biz has contacted Atari for comment.

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Latest comments (6)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
It sounds like they've been poorly managed, and good on them for sticking together in a crap time like this. Atari seem to chop & change every few months though, and that must be tough on developers like Eden who aren't even based in the same country any more.

Axing 50 of 80 staff is pretty serious though - going forward, Atari cannot be allowing them to develop the big-budget stuff they have traditionally made with such a small headcount.
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I don't think they want to with Eden. I think they just want to keep a team on long enough to finish whatever is their current project and then close them down completely.

That would be my totally uninformed guess. :-)
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Julien Amougou , Nokia5 years ago
My thoughts are with the great staff at Eden games studio. I witnessed the birth and followed the adventure a bit, sad to see the tough times ahead but I am certain such talent will not be out of a job for long...

Gardez la pÍche les gars !
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Mark Dygert Lead Character Animator, Her Interactive5 years ago
In the 5+ years I worked for a company that was bought by Atari, that was our misfortune also. Best of luck...
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Matthew Hill Head of Recruitment, Specialmove5 years ago
Things must be pretty severe - this is the first games industry industrial action I've heard of in a long time. I hope all is resolved positively as Eden have delivered some excellent titles.
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Juozapas Software Developer 5 years ago
Matthew, do you happen to remember more about previous industrial actions you've heard of a while ago? This is a very interesting development. I thought it was the first strike of this kind.
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