No matter what level of business expertise you may have, it’s hard to argue that employee layoffs are rarely a sign that a company is on the right track. In the realms of gaming, Vancouver has not been the most hospitable place as of late. The closures of Radical Entertainment and Rockstar Vancouver have been prominent news items recently, adding to the perception that the gaming industry is on shaky ground. The latest developer to be bitten by the layoff bug is Capcom Vancouver, the developers of Dead Rising 2, which recently laid off roughly 7% of their workforce. Is this a sign of hard times ahead for the Canadian branch of Capcom? Well, not quite.
Capcom Vancouver was formed in 2005 under the banner of Blue Castle Games, with the focus of their development efforts being the baseball franchise The Bigs. Two games were made for the series, one released in 2007 and the other in 2009, before the company was acquired by Capcom after the 2010 release of Dead Rising 2. Outside of expansions and spin-off games for Dead Rising 2, the studio hasn’t released any full games since and we are unable to find news of any others that are currently in development. This was a similar quandary that Rockstar Vancouver faced before they closed their doors, however Capcom has stated that this will not be the case here.
In a series of updates on the Capcom Vanouver Twitter page, all posted on July 18, they released the following statements
“To paraphrase Mark Twain – the reports of our death are greatly exaggerated. Capcom Vancouver has let go 7% of our employees as a result of unsuitable fit with the studio goals. We’re still growing and aggressively seeking great talent.”
The “unsuitable fit” comment alludes more to Capcom doing a routine culling of their workforce than a sign that the studio is about to go under. Indeed, layoffs have become routine in the gaming industry, with talented staff members no longer being deemed congruent with the goals of the studio. It says less about the laid off staff members as it does about the realities of the industry, so we hope the displaced staff members will find gainful employment elsewhere.