Gas Powered: We made the layoffs while we could afford to

Chris Taylor's Reddit AMA casts new light on studio's finances

Chris Taylor, CEO of Gas Powered Games, has discussed the situation surrounding his studio's Kickstarter campaign and recent swath of layoffs in an Ask Me Anything open interview with the users of Reddit.

Taylor took part in the event, which allows members of the Reddit community to pose questions to famous figures in an open forum, to clarify the circumstances which gave rise to his studio's current plight. During the session Taylor was asked about the team's financial situation and how last week's layoffs came to be necessary - as well as his declaration that the Wildman Kickstarter is now a campaign to save a studio rather than just funding a game.

Answering a question on how they ended up in dire financial straights, Taylor seemed to suggest that the press coverage surrounding the layoffs would have had a beneficial effect on the Kickstarter itself.

"Technically (legally) we weren't allowed to take on volunteers, so what folks have done this week, is go back on payroll, and then forego their severance. It's a good compromise because it's their decision."

Chris Taylor: CEO, Gas Powered Games

"GPG is in a very interesting situation," Taylor wrote, "as we had enough money to get us through to the end of the campaign. What became obvious by day 4, is that the campaign was going so poorly, there was no way it was going to happen. People argued this with me in the media a bit, saying it was too early to judge, but consider this, even with this weekend's surge, we're still not doing very well...Can you imagine what it would have looked like without the big push from the media covering the layoff?"

Expounding on that process of offering redundancies, Taylor explained that, by making that decision now rather than later on, he was ensuring that the studio had enough funds to give people their due, rather than risking a scenario where he was unable to pay them severance.

"I chose to lay folks off instead of gamble with their severance. Today some folks have come in, and completed paperwork, and have said they don't want to stay and gamble it, so they are gone now. It's an eyes wide open situation now... it's their choice, and I feel good about that decision.

"Technically (legally) we weren't allowed to take on volunteers, so what folks have done this week, is go back on payroll, and then forego their severance. It's a good compromise because it's their decision."

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Latest comments (4)

Brian Smith Artist 8 years ago
I must admit I was initially suspicious with another big name hitting kickstarter for funds. The timing coinciding with lay offs just set off alarms that this was the pinnacle of BS we've seen so far. After reading some more though I find myself really hoping they survive. A games company that continues to give a crap about it's employees at the possible end of it's road is a very rare thing indeed. Most companies want you to believe you are their extended family, right up to the point where they screw you for your last paycheck and leave you seeking legal advice. If they really do care then I hope kickstarter can actually save them.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D8 years ago
Agreed. There's nothing worse than people being laid off when there's no money to pay them what they're owed (listen up, Eurocom).
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 8 years ago
But after the Kickstarter project? They will just have the same problem.
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Brian Smith Artist 8 years ago
As I understand it from previous articles they were unlucky in having projects/multiple projects canned by their publisher recently. Possibly while they are working through Wildman, they'll be able to secure further work for the near future. I'm just guessing though.
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