UPDATE: Trine Games lays off half staff without pay; studio closed since June

Update: Trine Games CEO Sangam Gupta has responded to the below report, saying that the company will shift to its new studio this month, that all outstanding wages will be paid this month, that the company is now under new ownership, and that it will issue an IPO soon.

Here is the statement in full:

"The studio isn’t closed, but being relocated due to issues we had at the old office due to air conditioning which kept breaking our machines. It will be back up this month itself.

Due to the IPO, which I can’t comment much on at this point , we are doing a restructuring of the company as we have entered into a co-production agreement with two western companies, so it is indeed correct that we laid off about 15-20 people. Regarding salaries, nobody is owed more than Rs 2 lakhs so the figure of Rs 14 lakhs is absolutely absurd, and I would like to hear who is owed that amount! Even my salary isn’t that much!

There is still a large amount of considerable senior staff with us, who are still working from home and getting the new projects setup.

The company doesn’t not intend to not pay any laid-off staff their dues and the entire staff which has been laid off has been told that their dues will be cleared this month itself. We are just waiting on the IPO to go live and it will happen, because there is new ownership in the company and the new owners have decided to do that."

Original story:

Street Cricket developer Trine Games has laid off 20 staff without pay, and its Mumbai studio has been closed since early June, MCV has learned.

CEO Sangam Gupta told employees in early June that the company would be closed for ten days as the studio was moving to a new location, a reliable source told us. A few days later, however, about 20 employees were told that they were being laid off with immediate effect.

About 14 employees still remain at Trine, and two months after the studio was closed, operations are yet to resume, leaving staff without work or wages. Gupta initially told staff the studio would reopen on 2nd July, and has since promised several new dates.

We’re told that Trine owes employees anywhere from Rs 2 lakh ($3,200) to Rs 14 lakh ($22,800) each in outstanding wages. Those affected are reluctant to speak out openly for fear of losing out on these payments. Some employees, including those still at Trine, haven’t been paid for up to seven months.

These revelations come a day after an anonymous blog post surfaced, supposedly authored by a current or former Trine employee, venomously criticising the company for its hiring processes, unpaid wages, long work hours, and more.

It’s been reported that the company was looking to go public and issue an IPO, but Gupta has refused to comment on the matter. He also rubbished reports that Trine was closed.

We’ve reached out to Trine to get its response to these latest developments, and we’ll update this story once we know more.

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