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Friday, May 12, 2006

Rockstar Vienna Closes

This morning, as I came into work, I was greeted by security guards. It turned out Take-Two has closed their Rockstar Vienna office, effective immediately, "due to the challenging environment facing the video game business and our Company during this platform transition".

This is the first time in 15 years that I've been laid off, or have had the place where I work shut down. Before now, I have always seen the writing on the wall in time and have gotten out before anything drastic happened. So this is kind of a new experience for me.

This being Europe, I am not going to be living under a bridge tomorrow, but nevertheless this is a big upheaval. As far as I know, Rockstar Vienna was the biggest game development studio in Germany and Austria, with over a hundred employees.

Many of my coworkers - those with families and houses, those with roots in Vienna, those who invested many years of their lives in this company, those who moved here from abroad - are in difficult positions. There are few game development companies in Vienna. In the last year or so, several have let people go, merged or closed down. One hundred people will not easily find new jobs in the games business here.
-- Rockstar Vienna closes its doors

Well, that's a happy friday. I hate the MBA types who think that firing people with no notice is a "clean and efficient" method of management. "Low and cowardly" is how we refer to it around here. Low and cowardly.

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Unknown said...

I was reading that post yesterday afternoon, so I'm guessing they were shut down on Thursday, not Friday.

Josh said...

You would be correct, 11th = yesterday. That's what random blogrolling will get me.

Edited to cover up my mistake.

Still, low and cowardly.

Unknown said...

I won't deny it's bad. The only positive spin I've heard was from someone who said "perhaps a bunch of them are at E3 and can be networking for jobs".

Even if true, that's a pretty slim silver lining.