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Visual Science boss quashes closure rumours

Tim Christian, managing director of Scottish developer Visual Science, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company has not laid off its staff in the wake of a project cancellation, contrary to industry rumours.

Tim Christian, managing director of Scottish developer Visual Science, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company has not laid off its staff in the wake of a project cancellation, contrary to industry rumours.

Christian confirmed that a project which was being undertaken for Vivendi Universal Games was cancelled last week, but explained that rumours of layoffs or potential closure for the firm were down to a misunderstanding.

"We had a project with Vivendi Universal which was cancelled last week, and while we were obviously already in the process of pitching for new business, obviously that has taken on a greater urgency," he explained.

"We've been telling the staff what's been going on since the beginning of the week, because obviously it's pretty important to everybody. Since we haven't yet signed the lease on the new building we've moved into - the lawyers are taking so long to get it sorted - I was a little bit concerned that the landlord might hear that we'd lost a project and put pressure on by closing the doors and locking us out."

"I passed this on to the staff, and said just to make sure that they didn't have too many personal things here - just in case. In actual fact, late yesterday afternoon the landlord called and said not to worry, that we would get it all sorted out. There's absolutely no point in them locking us out, because we need to be in the building to survive!"

Christian also quashed rumours that the firm, which employs over 100 developers in its offices in Dundee and is one of the largest development companies in the region, had had any difficulties in paying staff as a result of the cancellation.

"It's a pretty serious situation when you lose a project, obviously," he said. "Where we are right now is that we've lost a project, but we've paid our staff and taking the stuff home was just a precaution in case the landlord wanted to lock us out, which he doesn't. We are actively pitching for new products - and if anybody is looking to place pockets of work straight away, then please give me a call!"

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