Developer explains what followed when it lost two key publishing deals worth $35 million

AionGuard takes new path as Avalanche explains layoffs

Avalanche Studios’ promising open-world fantasy action game AionGuard has undergone significant changes, according to company co-founder Christofer Sundberg.

Speaking to Edge, Sundberg explained that AionGuard has “taken a new direction”.

“We are continuing to work on the project but it’s not AionGuard now,” he said. When first shown to the public back in January, AionGuard had already been in development for two years.

Prior to the game’s unveiling, it is understood that Sweden-based Avalanche had found friction with AionGuard’s publisher at the time, before the developer acquired the rights back.

Sundberg also answered questions regarding the firm’s recent decision to serve notice to 20 of its workforce.

“Last year was really tough,” he said. “We lost two publishing deals, with the value of over $35 million.”

He said that the first abandoned project, which was cancelled earlier in 2008, did not severely impact the studio as staff were able to move to another project that happened to be understaffed.

“But when we lost that other project in October, that team had grown to 65. There was no other way we could solve the situation without letting those people go. That was painful, but we got out of it.”

In October the company laid off 77 of its staff.

Avalanche will now be pinning its focus and hopes on Just Cause 2, set to arrive some time in 2010.

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