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Venerable Sheffield studio Tuna shrinks to two staff

New projects "are fun to work on and have no publisher to screw things up"

Independent UK developer Tuna Technologies has dropped its headcount to two and is relocating to smaller premises, hinting at problems with its publishing partners.

The Sheffield-based "boutique studio," also known as TunaSnax, has worked on a number of licenses over the years, including Big Brother, Family Guy and Disney.

The company is currently working on PC and console game Derrick, funded by Screen Yorkshire and the late 4iP, plus web game Cover Girl with Channel 4's Education division.

"I know that all our projects are different; they will all stand out from the crowd in some way," blogged CEO Alex Amsel. "What's more, they are fun to work on and have no publisher to screw things up."

With Tuna down to just two staff, Derrick will be developed in conjunction with another indie dev, Different Cloth.

The future of XBLA claymation action game Cletus Clay looks less certain. "It has to wait until 'Derrick' has finished," said Alex Amsel. "We're not prepared to take on any more external funding as it lead to a lack of control and, at times, a lack of focus.

"We felt like we were working to our funder's requirements rather than those that benefited the game. Again, this is perhaps a topic for a future post."

Explaining the change in the company, Amsel wrote "The future for Tuna, which has been decidedly foggy for the last 18 months, is now clear. Mark and myself, who were Tuna from the very beginning, decided that we wanted to continue working on indie games as well as other creative web and media projects.

"However, we were sick of being hamstrung by the past, and hamstrung we were. It felt like every step forward we made was followed by two steps back."

Tuna, which was founded in 1996, is moving to Electric Works, "a building full of small, creative companies. "

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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