Recently, we’ve informed you about the reorganization at Harmonix, the creator of Dance Central, which included laying off full time employees. This time, it’s Rare‘s turn, the company behind the highly successful Kinect Sports.
Rare is going through reorganization as well and the jobs of Kinect Sports developers have been targeted as the company makes staff cutbacks “in an effort cu cut costs”. Unfortunately, it appears that the whole art department will be replaced by contractors.
Kinect Sports developers layoffs
The 42 employees from the Rare art department, located in Twycross headquarters, had been notified that their jobs are at risk and had to apply for 23 managerial jobs at Rare’s new office, in Birmingham. That means a total of 19 staff members to be laid off . Moreover,
Some negative feeling has led to additional artists taking the very generous voluntary redundancy packages.
increasing, thus, the total number of departures.
Microsoft commented on the Rare staff layoff news:
I can confirm that a small number of employees in the art department of Rare Studios have been informed that their roles are at risk of redundancy. While redundancies are never easy, these organizational changes are part of Rare’s ongoing strategy and operational planning which typically coincides with the shipment of a title. We are working closely with the affected employees to support them through this transition and help them apply for other roles within Microsoft.
However, according to Microsoft, the number of redundancies is small:
Whilst we’re not discussing the exact numbers involved, I can assure you that it’s far fewer than you’ve indicated and represents a small percentage of the total Rare team.
Indeed, it could be the case that the percentage of layoffs out of the total Rare team is not so high, but when that percentage represents the whole art department and that all artistic employees that have worked on Kinect Sports are replaced by contractors, the situation changes.
Given these change I can only hope that Rare will still be able to deliver us great Kinect games!
Related Kinect News:
- The UK is fuelling Kinect
- Harmonix lays off employees: Dance Central in danger?
- Dance Central & Kinect Sports are million sellers
- US Beware – Kinect Sports 10 bucks off this week!
- Kinect Sports demo available for Xbox Live Gold members