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Disney lays off up to 100 Propaganda staff

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.

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Latest comments (16)

here;s hoping for a good Tron tie in that works well independently from the franchise.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
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!
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Pierre Vandenbroucke Assistant de production, Gorgone Productions10 years ago
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.
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Show all comments (16)
Thus does it mean other areas in canada are more cost effective to live/develop in?
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Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games10 years ago
Vancouver is the most expensive city to live in in Canada. (still a lot cheaper than London though!)
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and still cheaper than San fran or Moscow :)
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
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.
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Mbuso Radebe Producer, Electronic Arts10 years ago
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.
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Bruce Stamm Director, Babel Media10 years ago
Montreal is still booming and the cost of living is about half of Vancouver's
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Jonathan Gervasi Game Designer 10 years ago
Sad... I was expecting that game... looked REAL nice!
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Charles Lentz Game Developer, Stardock10 years ago
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.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
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

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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design10 years ago
Saddens me to read about this. Horribly ruthless.
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Luke Child10 years ago
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.
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Private Industry 10 years ago
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.
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C T Studying Introductory Gaming I, British Columbia Institute of Technology10 years ago
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.
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