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Day 1 Studios Gets Hit With Layoffs, Revealed To Have Been Working On A Konami Franchise

The year may almost be over and in a way the video game biz is slowly ramping up to enter stasis mode for a few weeks, but alas we have news of yet another studio being hit with substantial layoffs.  2011 has seen a great many studios be closed or halved in size, some of which were to be expected while others were a complete shock (Team Bondi closing still has me in WTF mode).  Today brings the unfortunate news that layoffs have been issued at Day 1 Studios due to a deal falling through, something which is all too common to hear these days.

Reports point to the layoffs at Day 1 being due to a deal with Konami crumbling.  Supposedly Day 1 was working on a new entry in the Silent Scope franchise for Konami but certain events transpired that resulted in Konami seemingly pulling the project from Day 1.  Prior to this update there were no rumors or faint confirmations pointing to Konami doing a new Silent Scope entry and the news of such a thing is a shock since the series was mostly known as an arcade hit due to the sniper peripheral required to play it.  

Due to losing the Silent Scope project Day 1 has since let go the majority of the team working on it.  Exact figures haven't been issued, but 95% of the Silent Scope team were sadly let given the pink slip.  The key bulk of Day 1 hasn't been let go as the studio reportedly still has a smaller team working on a yet to be announced project.  Previously Day 1 has worked on games for both LucasArts (Fracture) and WB Games (F.E.A.R 3) so it's anyone's guess as to what Day 1 could be tackling next.

Day 1 may not have been a huge player in the development scene as far as establishing a massive fanbase like that of Infinity Ward or Irrational Games, but the studio has talent and has given us games that while a bit flawed were still fun to play. I’m personally really bummed out about this news since Day 1 was one of the few major studios left in my hometown of Chicago, which was once a growing hotbed in the gaming scene but hasn’t thrived in recent years outside of NetherRealm Studios continuing to pump out the goodness and Robomodo trying to establish a unique footprint for itself.

Right now there aren’t any major details on why Konami pulled the plug on Silent Scope or why the decided to take the project away from Day 1 so things are still a bit hazy.  But as a whole I think this news is just another sign of how the industry is kind of in this weird place where creativity is too much of a risk for people to attempt and even working on an established franchise may not be a sure thing since it can still lead to immediate doom.  

I hope for nothing but the best to those affected by the layoffs at Day 1 Studios and once more details arise I’ll be sure to post an update.

[via GameSpot]