While everyone is talking about THQ’s cancellation of Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium no longer being an MMO, the bigger story is that 39 employees at developers Relic Entertainment (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine) and 79 at Vigil Games (Darksiders) have lost their jobs.
It’s never pleasant to hear about people losing their employment, but this is especially painful as this represents about 40-50% of Vigil Games’ staff according to recent information via LinkedIn. The 39 lost jobs likely represents about 20% of Relic Entertainment’s staffing. Worse, there seems to be a very vocal backlash from developers across the industry at THQ. Here are just a couple of tweets from a developer at BioWare, an animator from Vancouver, WA and one who is a character artist at an unnamed studio in Austin, TX.
Let’s be honest, what eventually comes out might have the same name, but it won’t be the same game. To that effect, the person who originally predicted that this was in the works, Kevin Dent, is defending his name rather vocally:
Personally, I’m torn about this. The man has every right to remind people how poorly he was treated for sharing the news at the beginning of this year, but people have lost their employment. Thankfully, despite the bit of gloating, Dent is working with other developers as part of an effort to help find employment for the 100+ displaced at these two studios. Here are just a few examples of how the development community is coming together:
There’s no two ways about it. This is a crummy situation that severely impacts two studios that do great work.
We’re hoping to have more in the coming days about how Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium will make the transition to an offline experience and what this means, if anything, for Darksiders II (under development at Vigil).