Dreadnought co-developer Six Foot has laid off a third of its staff.
As reported by Game Informer (thanks, PC Gamer), the studio cites the delay bringing the free-to-play shooter to Steam as one of the reasons it was forced to offer 45 of its staff the choice of terminating their positions or taking unpaid leave.
The studio hopes that it will eventually be able to bring those colleagues back should Dreadnought’s successes change.
CEO Matt Ballesteros alerted the team to the issues a few months ago, informing colleagues the studio was running out of funding in the lead up to Dreadnought’s PC release. But after having had to push the release back from Q3 to October 2018 – and releasing to chiefly "mixed" reviews – the studio was not able to raise the funding it needed to retain all staff.
Ultimately, 45 employees had until 10 am on October 17th to make their preferences known to HR, and colleagues who did not report by the deadline were presumed to be opting for severance.
It’s believed Six Foot has retained a skeleton crew to continue work on Dreadnought, although there’s as yet no confirmation if those staff will be retained once the live development of Dreadnought ceases.
"It cost about $400,000 for the last blitz/crunch/push to get Dreadnought launched on Steam," a source told GI. "Paying everyone in general costs about $80,000 a day. The game has not made anywhere near that; I do not recall the exact number, but it was less than $20,000 a day."
Here’s COO Christian Svensson’s statement, in full, as given to Game Informer:
"In August, Six Foot informed its staff of the upcoming potential for major changes to our company structure, including continued development of Dreadnought as a live product.
"Everyone on the games team was given the option to stay on and continue working or begin searching for other opportunities with the full support of the company and the aid of our staffing team, while still receiving pay in the interim. New updates on the company’s status were delivered to the full team every two weeks from there.
"Today we regrettably confirm a reduction of about a third of our game dev workforce. We’re continuing to make available the full resources of our company to try to help those affected and their families land on their feet as quickly as possible.
"We remain committed to Dreadnought’s ongoing development, growth, and the pursuit of new projects. We are also dedicated to remaining active in helping our affected family to transition as smoothly as possible."