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Gas Powered: "Kickstarter has become about saving a company"

Laid off employees start work on Wildman at troubled studio

As his former employees start work on Wildman for free, Gas Powered Games' CEO Chris Taylor has suggested that the company's Kickstarter campaign is no longer about supporting a single game, but saving the troubled company.

In a video update on Kickstarter he asks the supporters if he should continue the campaign for new title Wildman, despite the lay offs at the company. He's since told Polygon that campaign now goes way beyond getting one game made.

"It never occurred to me that the industry would rally like it did, and that people would then invest, not only in Wildman, but in helping me to save GPG and the team (in fact, it's probably the other way around, and I think the Kickstarter has become about saving a company and the game is a distant second),"

Gas Powered Games was forced to make "substantial" lay offs last week, following the end of its work on Age Of Empires Online.

"Gone are the days when you could just do whatever the heck you wanted and hope for the best!"

In his conversation with Polygon Taylor now seems more optimistic about the future, and the Kickstarter campaign has 25 days to go, with $831,506 still left to raise.

"I don't want to make any assumptions at this point, but things look much better, and I think it's still going to be a long road ahead, but we're prepared to work very hard to make this happen. And I'm already making phone calls and setting up meetings to talk to key people about coming back, to see the campaign through.At least now, everyone has their eyes wide open, no surprises."

Taylor is also responding to questions and criticism from backers, will mainly centre around how this will affect Gas Powered's former employees, in the campaign's comments.

"I've been in business long enough to know that all of this has to go past HR and be legal in the State of Washington. Gone are the days when you could just do whatever the heck you wanted and hope for the best!"

Those former employees are also contributing to the discussion, with some, like Matt Kehm, reporting that they are returning to work at the company despite being laid off.

"I was one of those laid off that will be back to work tomorrow regardless. I want to see this succeed. Chris went over it in his video update Friday, but the reason why he did not keep us longer was the fact that if he would have kept us on for the month, and the campaign failed, there would not be enough money left to give people severance packages. By laying people off now, everyone received severance pay."

"Many of us are returning to work tomorrow to make this campaign a success. For me, this goes beyond a paycheck. It is a company I love. I will do everything in my power to see that it does not close its doors."

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Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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