Fatbabies is reporting a rumor that Turbine laid off anywhere between ten and eighteen people under conditions of strict secrecy.
Turbinites are being tight-lipped because they have been told not to talk publicly under penalty of dismissal. Turbine does not plan to make an announcement about the layoffs, hoping they will go un-noticed. The termination agreement that each laid-off employee must sign to get their severence (three weeks pay plus one week for each full year with the company) requires them not to talk about the company or the layoffs, or even mention the termination agreement they have to sign to get their money. One producer, one game designer, one tech lead, five artists, and five QA people were let go, and the rest of the layoffs came from admin staff. No engineerng people (programmers, etc.) were let go.
Given the small size of Turbine and the active relationship many of AC’s developers maintain with the playerbase, one would think that such a layoff would not go unnoticed. And since a rumor on Fatbabies holds about as much weight as Anna Nicole Smith swearing off banging elderly tycoons, we’ll keep a cynical, baleful eye on this one.
Edit: Well, maybe Anna Nicole’s joining a convent, too, because Turbine just confirmed the rumor on the CoD boards.
In an effort to stop misconceptions and rumors before they begin: Yes, we let some employees go last week. The staff changes will not effect the development of Asheron’s Call or its sequel.
Turbine Entertainment Software
Thanks to El Gallo on the boards for the quick heads up.
Of course, any ex- or current Turbines willing to jabber on or off the record are cheerfully encouraged. From our experience with Origin State University, we’re already well conversed in how to talk to folks with post-employment contracts!