Developer of Blade Kitten and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole rumoured to be closing its remaining Melbourne and Brisbane studios.
Source: Tsumea, a Web site for Australian and New Zealand game developers.
What we heard: Krome, creator of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, has had a turbulent 12 months. It laid off staff at the end of 2009 across all three of its Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne studios. More positions were eliminated in April this year, with the studio blaming "new challenges" for the cuts.
Things got worse a couple of months ago, when Krome confirmed to GameSpot that it had put an undisclosed number of its staff on notice pending the outcome of several of its projects, shortly after closing the Adelaide studio completely. Once again, Krome blamed external factors, such as economic challenges for the action, but claimed that current and future projects remained unaffected.
Today, Australian and New Zealand developer-focused Web site Tsumea reported on rumours of further layoffs, possibly resulting in the end of the developer altogether. Tsumea cites Twitter posts that suggest cuts at both the remaining Melbourne and Brisbane offices, with a full closure set to occur on Monday. It did, however, claim that some of Krome's employees will be brought back as contractors to finish remaining projects.
The studio recently worked on Game Room for Microsoft's Xbox 360, but its most recent games, Blade Kitten and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, received mediocre to fair reviews. The studio was at one point Australia's largest independent game developer with more than 400 members of staff across its various locations.
The official story: GameSpot contacted Krome's press department for confirmation, but no response was forthcoming as of press time.
Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus that Krome has laid off more staff, but too early to tell if the studio will be closing for good. Given the studio's recent decline, though, the signs aren't good.
I don't think sales of Legend of the Guardians are too good, so that doesn't help. It's not even available on some platforms from some notable online retailers here in the UK.
It's very very unfortunate... But I so often ask myself how game developers, who clearly have some good talent in their ranks, end up making really bad games? And I assure you, its the engineers and artists who get laid off (the folks who play games and have passion). Mean while the idiotic executives, who don't play games (Its obvious so don't even try and deny it) stick around wondering where it all went wrong. Gamers should make games... If you don't have Gears of War game complete achievement, Uncharted 2 Complete trophy and perhaps some Halo, Metal Gear, Heavy Rain, Mass Effect trophies/achievements then don't bother applying. Hows that for a revolutionary approach to hiring project directors for game development?
The Games industry is pretty ruthless. If you don't put out at least one high rating title, then it seems you are doomed. Nonetheless it is sad to see another aussie developer go down. Hopefully some smaller indie devs will take their place.
The studio grew then the crash --- maybe the best thing for a studio today is to keep it runnin' lean and mean-and focus on quality over quantity. haven't played the other titles, but to me -Ty The Tasmanian Tiger was an awesome kids platformer with an excellent ambient soundtrack -
well, if their most renowned game was the obscure ty the tasmanian then it is quite understandable that they are in the position they are now. Blade kitten was quite terrible too.
I always feel bad for them joes when they lose their studio. Men and women who lose their jobs is always tough but hopefully they will find better venture out there...
it is a slight shame their gone, but I'd care more if they made any good games. Now they won't be able to improve.
It's sad to see any developer go under, whether they made mediocre games or not. Best of luck to all laid off employees in finding new positions in the industry.
They put out Blade Kitten--their most recent release--at the worst possible release window.. which was at the same day as the PC/PS3 release of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and at the same price.
i feel they have been left behind and still producing mediocre games, the games market is so tough even for good games that if you release rubbish then sales are non existant. games room is so so but they have released nothing of any standard for years. i don't know what they are still working on but not holding my breath
this kind of sucks, they did a fairly good job with gameroom, its just a pity that the games released for it havent been up to scratch, the interface is fantastic though.
I looked them up on wikipedia. They did not make a single game worth buying. Most of the line up was bad PS2 kiddy plat formers.
If only the AUd was closer to 0.50USD then studios would be getting contracts. The higher the AUD is the worse off the Australian game industry will be.
Krome deserves to be closed down completly. since when did they make a decent game?? waste of money, waste of jobs, waste of games. RIP KROME STUDIOS AUSTRALIA. GIVE THUMBS UP IF YOU AGREE!!!
Looks like we have Blue Tongue (the de Blob guys) left... Shame that Krome didn't get the attention they deserved.
If they created anything good they would not be closing(?) the computer game industry is one of the only industry when quality will sell (generally)
It does suck that people lose their jobs but come on... how many game studios out there are pumping out mediocre products that really have no value? Not even Ty was successful enough to justify comments like "at least that one was a good game." I'm actually surprised they survived this long with the low quality of what they've been making, and the way they've churned through staff over the years as well (at least in the Brisbane studio, not sure about Melbourne). Now, this kind of thing NEEDS to happen to a few AAA developers because they simply don't belong in this industry. Look a what MoH turned into.... failing that bad with the budget and support they had behind them is criminal. Kick those developers/designers to the curb and hire some of the genuinely brilliant indie guys out there that are struggling!!!
@gbrading I hate the fact that people will lose their jobs, but even game room is not that big a deal to keep them going, they should have tryed to come up with original ideas and keep the good games coming, unfortunetly they didn't
Well, the only game these guys made i ever played was the original Ty, which was pretty good actually, but if what pretty much everyone else says is true then everything else they have made is well, crap.
@MJ12-Conspiracy: Took the words out of my mouth, but I would like to point out that a game should not be under appreciated just because it is a kid's game. A good game is a good game regardless of who it is aimed at. Legend of the Guardian faltered because it is what it is; a rushed movie license game.
It definitely looks like we may have seen the last of Krome. Game Room was a stellar idea. Bringing old school games to Xbox 360 was pretty nice.
Less devs means less market saturation... not good for jobs but technically its better for the whole industry.
I hate to hear about developers closing down and people losing their jobs but if all you do is release mediocre games I hate to say it but this is what happens. Honestly, I played with Gameroom for a week when it first launched but I got bored with it. I thought Blade kitten was obnoxious and Legend of Guardians was a kids game...
hate to hear about people losing their jobs, but these guys really did nothing of importance I can think of as far as games go.
Perhaps a steep decline in it's gaming industry will get Australia to make the changes necessary to allow it to be competitive.
I had always heard of Krome... typically about how bad they were from day one. No seriously, what exactly did they make that would have defined them as a studio? Nothing.
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