Frontier becomes latest UK studio to axe staff

Cambridge team loses 14 in art, animation and audio

David Braben's Cambridge studio Frontier has axed 14 jobs ahead of Christmas, becoming the latest developer to let staff go in December during the run up to the holidays.

"Frontier regretfully has given a total of 14 people (from a staff of 233) notice that their roles are redundant, across art (9), animation (3) and audio (2) disciplines," said the studio in a statement to Eurogamer.

"This is due to the changing mix of skills requirements for our current and future projects - it is not a reflection on the company's prospects, which remain healthy.

Frontier is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise £1.25 million for Elite Dangerous. With 18 days to go it has secured £780,562 in pledges.

A number of high-profile businesses in the UK and US have let staff go during December, including Richard Garriott's Portalarium and Square Enix. The biggest collapse had been in Derby, where Eurocom developments closed its doors after 25 years at the cost of 200-plus jobs.

Despite the layoffs, Frontier said it was still recruiting in other areas and it was doing its best to help those made redundant.

"Once we took the decision to make the roles redundant, we felt it was better that the affected people knew ASAP so they can plan any further expenditure over the Christmas period accordingly and focus on their search for new roles as soon as possible. We have provided redundancy arrangements in excess of the minimum.

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Latest comments (6)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
Commiserations to everyone involved, it is a bad time of year for this.
Jagex are still recruiting and have loads of vacancies:

I think that the statement from Frontier is excellent. It is a pity that more companies don't explain themselves so succinctly.

This constant realignment of the job market is symptomatic of our industry and overall is a good thing. It shows that the industry is adapting to change.
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Brian Smith Artist 7 years ago
With any luck their kickstarter will get there and we won't see more redundancies next year. A crappy xmas present for all involved. All the best to those affected. Hopefully it leads to better things for you all.
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The existing Kickstarter would not/should not have covered the redundancies
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 7 years ago
I would be worried indeed if Kickstarter in any way determined if more staff will go from Frontier. In fact I find Brian Smihs comment above about hoping the kickstarter succeeds in order to avoid more layoffs insane. The people funding Kickstarter projects are not there in any way to bail out failing companies. In fact that would likely be fraud.
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@Peter - I have to agree, I am seeing more and more comments as if the KS is a means to raise long-term funding, rather than a cloud sourced undertaking. It is as if now the investors have backed out, KS is seen as a means to fill the hole and pay the bills.

I wish the staff let go the best in their search for new positions. But I have a wary eye on the ELITE KS. I hope the media will be transparent with its coverage whatever the final outcome before the end of the year.
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Brian Smith Artist 7 years ago
I was purely guessing that they obviously have people there to work on Elite, and if that doesn't happen or another project isn't available, it'll likely lead to less jobs. I'm not tying kickstarter money to saving jobs. That's reading a bit much into what I said. My main point was only to wish those affected the best of luck.
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