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Financial troubles mount for Transmission Games

LucasArts deal falls through, leaving studio unlikely to sign any new projects for 2-3 months

Financial pressures continue to mount for Australian developer Transmission Games, with the studio unlikely to sign any new projects for the next 2-3 months, according to CEO Mike Fegan.

Yesterday it was reported that the developer let a third of its staff go. According to emails forwarded to GamesIndustry.biz, a proposed project with LucasArts for a game based on the movie Red Tails has been put on hold, leaving the studio pitching a new Secret Weapons project to the publisher.

A deal with another publisher is also unlikely to be signed off for another three months, leaving the company working with Codemasters on a new Ashes Cricket title and Evolved Games on flight sim F-22 - already granted further time for development by the publisher.

The only other project at the studio is Rotorhead, a helicopter demo so far pitched to over 10 publishers, according to a source.

Fegan told staff this week that salaries will now be paid on a fortnightly basis. "Cash still remains very tight as we work to secure payments from publishers and new sources of income," he wrote in an email.

Before making staff redundant this week, Fegan warned that the studio doesn't "have available cash to sustain the current burn rate of the studio so we now have to implement some major cost cutting."

The 30 staff axed from the studio were mainly full-time coders as well as QA staff. A number of artists were also let go, although these were recruited by another developer in Melbourne.

The studio has also struggled to recover outstanding payments from publishing partners and has been late paying staff for the past six months.

The company was formed in 1996 as IR Gurus and has been responsible for the acclaimed Heroes over Europe and Heroes of the Pacific titles, as well as the recently released Ashes Cricket 2009.

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Latest comments (4)

Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief9 years ago
You suggest 30 layoffs here, rather than 20 in yesterday's article. Is this an update or a typo? :-)
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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz9 years ago
It's an update. How's your ghoulish 'Jobs Loss Tracker' coming along?
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"Yesterday it was reported that the developer let a third of its staff go" - Transmission has (had?) closer to 120-140 employees. A 1/3rd layoff would be very significant.

I do hope they pull through. They are a very significant developer & employer here in Melbourne (Aust).
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Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media9 years ago
It's very sad news. On the bright side we're hiring quite a lot, also based in Melbourne, so we anticipate a lot of these guys will find a good home. Shame that companies hiring doesn't get any press versus the endless stories of lay-offs.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised about a job lost tracker but really now...
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