Homefront and Saints Row studios downsized as Montreal base continues to fill

THQ releases staff at Kaos and Volition

Over thirty employees working for THQ have been made redundant, the publisher has confirmed.

A spokesperson said 17 workers are to leave New York studio Kaos, while 16 people are to lose their jobs at Illinois outfit Volition.

THQ said it needed to adjust workforce numbers at Volition “to fit the studio’s current needs.”

In a statement sent to Gamasutra, the publisher said the move is a “relatively common occurrence in the game development industry."

In February, THQ Studio Australia released 14 workers from its internal art department, without options to apply for further roles within the company.

THQ is currently looking to create 400 new jobs within its new Montreal studio, which had opened in the closing stages of 2010. The new outfit was formed after THQ brokered a deal where it would receive generous state aid from the Quebec government.

Workers at Kaos fear they will eventually be forced to move far north to the Montreal base or lose their livelihoods, according to inside sources speaking to Develop.

In January, Kaos general manager David Votypka told Develop that he did not rule out any scenarios regarding a move to Canada.

“This is certainly a concern I am aware of at Kaos, and have taken questions from the staff about it on a number of occasions,” Votypka said.

Before the release of Kaos’ latest title, Homefront, one studio source had asked Develop: “If [Homefront] does poorly will we be laid off? If we the game does well and we keep our jobs do we get to stay in New York?”

THQ is today claiming that Kaos staff are currently in pre-production stages on a number of projects, and has to deliver on a “ongoing, robust DLC and content plan” for Homefront.

"We have made changes to ensure that the team size aligns to the current stages of internal product development," the company added.

Outplacement assistance has been offered to affected staff.

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