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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified devs laid off

Large cuts reported at 2K Marin; some staff being reassigned to Rod Fergusson's new 2K Games shop

2K Games has enacted a round of layoffs at 2K Marin. According to Polygon sources, a majority of the people at the studio behind The Bureau: XCOM Declassified were let go today.

"We can confirm staff reductions at 2K Marin," the publisher said in a statement to press outlets. "While these were difficult decisions, we regularly evaluate our development efforts and have decided to reallocate creative resources. Our goal to create world-class video game titles remains unchanged."

At least some of the staffers who weren't let go are being moved over to join the new 2K Games studio to be headed up by BioShock Infinite producer Rod Fergusson. As for what happens now to 2K Marin, a Take-Two representative had yet to respond to an inquiry.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified launched in August after numerous delays. It was originally announced in 2010 as the second project for the studio that debuted with BioShock 2. While Take-Two has not revealed sales figures for The Bureau, it failed to make the NPD's list of top 10 best-selling games for the month of August.

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Latest comments (6)

Feri Zsolnai Owner /Creative Director, 25/7 Design Studio3 years ago
Do I understand well, that these days it isn't enough to be creative and professional, but you also have to make it to the top ten with what you're doing in order to keep your job? What kind of world is this?
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development3 years ago
In short, it's a world where there are far too many game developers. As one of them, I take no joy in saying it.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
I'm sorry the developers lost their jobs, however:

@ Feri

Do I understand well, that these days it isn't enough to be creative and professional,

It's enough to be that way, sure - but you can't run a studio that fumbles a project like this one did and get a really poor sales return. It needs to be a hit after multiple reboots and changes. It costs a lot of money to do that to any AAA game (hell, even an AA game) and that investment needs recouping. Not to mention that the leadership that allowed this to happen - whether it was at the developer or the publisher - needs to go. It's just a shame that the people under them who were probably just doing their job efficiently have to suffer as well.
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Renaud Charpentier Game Director, The Creative Assembly3 years ago
@Paul

The global video game market is still growing, despite a world class slow down of the economy. Great games manage to find their audience whatever their subject, from a pure sandboxy Minecraft to a story driven The last of us. I thinks it is just becoming harder and harder to craft great games as their features and so complexity ramps up. So does the team size, so does the management and planning complexity, so does the costs in the end... and so the risks.
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@Paul There may be too many developers in total, but the fact that a huge amount of the audience is giving their money to the same few studios over and over suggests that there are not a lot of actual world class developers out there yet. At all.
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Feri Zsolnai Owner /Creative Director, 25/7 Design Studio3 years ago
I absolutely agree with you. My problem is rather the definition of poor sales. Today, when a 150% profit is considered poor and (according to EA) a project is only profitable if it generates at least 300% of its development price, or in this case, it it makes it into the top 10 within the first month, I find little to no reason to empathise with the "poor" studio/publisher/investor against the game developing individual.
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