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Gas Powered Games lays off staff in cash crisis

Just days after Kickstarting a new game, the developer cuts most of its team

Gas Powered Games is undergoing significant layoffs, according to an initial report by Kotaku. Anonymous sources have told Kotaku that the Redmond, WA-based developer has cut almost its entire staff, with the exception of chief executive officer and founder Chris Taylor and a few other employees.

The studio just launched a Kickstarter for its next title, the action RPG Wildman. The Kickstarter has reached $174,758 within just four days, still a far cry of the funding goal of $1.1 million.

Taylor confirmed the layoffs to Gamasutra, but did not relate any specific numbers. He explained that what's left of the studio is betting everything on the Wildman Kickstarter

"The studio is still operating, but we had to slim way down to conserve cash reserves," ssaid Taylor. "We spent all the last dough that we've had, and the last several months working on it. So we're betting the company on it."

Taylor also told Kotaku that more information on the layoffs would be forthcoming, with an additional update coming to the Kickstarter.

"We do have a layoff, and we'll be updating our Kickstarter as well with details as well very soon. I'm way behind, so many wonderful people to talk to and share stories with, so it just takes time. It's actually been a fairly positive experience, because I run a very open company and everyone knows what's going on," Taylor said to Kotaku in his statement.

In a statement to ShackNews, Taylor was less enthusiastic about Wildman's chances on Kickstarter and said that the studio was transitioning into "a new business model".

"I'm thinking of asking folks, should I shut the Kickstarter down or not? So I'm about to shoot video that will post up tonight saying just that. I had to read the tealeaves and foresee that the Kickstarter was not likely to reach its goal, and if it did, only after I squeezed every friend I have to make a contribution. I didn't want to put people I love through that, as it would be just as painful for them to watch as it was for me to do. So, I made the very hard call to conserve money so that GPG could make a transition into a new business model, some people call it right-sizing, but I call it making a tough strategic decision," he said to ShackNews.

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.