American studio Cyan Worlds has had to lay off 50 testers following the acquisition of Gamecock Media and losing a contract to QA the publisher’s games.
The redundancies mean Cyan has just seven left on its test team, although services testing games for smaller publishers are available.
CEO Tony Fryman of the Spokane-based studio told local paper Spokesman Review that Cyan was looking to work with other developers also left hanging by Gamecock’s acquisition.
The publisher was acquired last month by South Peak – originally, Gamecock had debuted boasting that it would only sign up new IP by independent developers, however the gambit didn’t seem to pay off, with the idealistic ventured bought up by a rival.
“We’re contacting the individual developers to see if continue to move forward,” said Fryman.
The news comes a few months after Turner cancelled Cyan’s Myst Online title, and then sold its Gametap distribution service to Metaboli.
These turbulent occurrences have also meant development is ‘on hiatus’, added Fryman, who said independent developers were becoming the victims as the games industry experiences fallout from the credit crunch.
“I think games at the $50 price point can still sell. People will play them at home instead of going out to eat,” Fryman said. “But for the upstart smaller [game] firms trying to get funding, this is a terrible market.”