Scottish independent developer Denki has announced today that it has started a 'major restructuring' of the studio, resulting in a number of job losses.
Develop understands that only six staff will be left out of 25 once the redundancy consultancy period with staff has finished.
In a post entitled 'Black Easter Monday At Denki Towers' on the official Denki blog (and which you can also read on Develop here), co-founder Colin Anderson points to the tough market for smaller independent studios, the reluctance of publishers to take a chance on even small projects with new IP, and the breakdown of the 'old model' of game funding as causes for the downsizing.
He says that the traditional games industry "doesn’t value good games" - and this attitude from publishers has caused Denki to run in problems while trying to secure a deal for its almost-finished XBLA game Quarrel.
Said Anderson: "Players do [value good games], but the games industry doesn’t. Instead it values low risk games – not even “calculated” risk games, just low risk
"Being developers “of a certain age” we cut our teeth in the industry at a time when you listened to Publishers' opinions," he added.
"But those days are clearly behind us now – there are just so many alternative ways of getting though to people who love games, and we’d rather save our energies for people who love games, play games and buy games than waste it trying to convince the industry of their worth (not that those groups are always entirely mutually exclusive of course!).
In the passionate post, Anderson urges other developers to start dealing direct with their consumers - and effectively says that Denki going forward will not be dealing with traditional publishers or format-holders.
"From this point on we’re going straight to the people who play games and value games, focusing on platforms that don’t have arbitrary gate-keepers who periodically change the requirement goal-posts halfway through development. And we’ll wait until we have absolutely conclusive proof of the value of our games before we go anywhere near the industry."
20 staff in Scotland are now looking for new homes, Denki says potential employees should contact firstname.lastname@example.org