New SCi CEO Phil Rogers has exclusively given his first interview to Develop’s sister publication MCV, clarifying what the firm’s restructuring really means for its development staff going forward.
In February the publisher, which owns the label Eidos, announced it was to cap its workforce at 800 staff across its development teams (meaning the firm is trimming 25 per cent of its workforce) as the firm switches to a ‘studio-led’ business, which includes a cost-reduction plan and 14 cancelled games.
Rogers told MCV: "We want to be a leaner and fitter company in terms of what we do and what we release. In these situations you have to be honest, both internally and externally, and that is why we cancelled 14 titles. As a company we have been bringing out too many average games which are tying up resources. In today’s environment of lengthening development cycles and increasing costs, we need to be more ruthless and focus on our quality titles."
It’s not clear which titles were cancelled and where the job cuts have been yet. SCi owns the studios Crystal Dynamics, Beautiful Game Studios, Pivotal Games, IO Interactive, Eidos Montreal and Eidos Hungary.
Clarifying what ‘studio-led’ means, Rogers said that development teams will incorporate PR and marketing teams at their studios as the firm looks to target best of breed production practices and higher quality games.
He added: "Studio-led’ means that operationally we will be moving some of today’s key publishing responsibilities such as brand, PR and marketing, into our key development studios. This gives us a focused team based around our cornerstone franchises, working from the same office and seeing the same code at the same time.
"‘Studio-led’ to me means highly focused with the ability to make every opportunity happen – in this way, our studios are not only working on high quality games, but on delivering a high quality game campaign as well, all under one roof.
"Do we feel more comfortable thinking of ourselves as a game developer? To be honest ‘developer’ and ‘publisher’ are not always the most consistently understood of labels. We feel most comfortable thinking of ourselves as responsible for creating, managing and exploiting some of the world’s leading video game properties."
Read the full interview with Phil Rogers here.