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Licence to kill - Eurocom lay off developers after another 007 game failure

24-Nov-2012 • Gaming

British developer Eurocom yesterday announced mass layoffs of its development team. Of the more than 200 personnel based in the Derby (UK) studios, only 50 will remain as the company slashed its headcount to focus solely on mobile games.

Update: 155 people were made redundant, with only 42 keeping their jobs at Eurocom. A notice of intention to appoint an administrator has been filed to protect the business and assets of Eurocom Developments Limited.

Eurocom's last console release was "007 Legends", which was roundly panned by critics and has been suffering poor sales. The company blamed impractical deadlines enforced by publisher Activision.

Studio director Hugh Binns said in a statement: "Eurocom are undertaking a restructuring which I regret to say has meant we've made the majority of our workforce redundant today. This includes many very experienced, talented and highly skilled employees, and we'd like to thank them all for your hard work and efforts. We've fought to try and save as many jobs as possible, but the steep decline in demand for console games, culminating in a number of console projects falling through in the last week, left us with no option. Eurocom has retained a core staff of just under 50 employees and will be focusing mainly on mobile opportunities moving forward."

Its previous 007 title, "GoldenEye Reloaded", received better reviews and higher sales. Eurocom's involvement with the James Bond franchise has seen publishers come and go. Starting out with "James Bond Jr." on the NES for THQ in 1991, it also worked with EA on "The World Is Not Enough" in 2000, and the popular game "007: Nightfire" in 2002. When Activision took over the reigns, Eurocom ported "Quantum of Solace" for the PC in 2008 before completing the "GoldenEye 007" remake for the Wii in 2010 and subsequent PS3 & Xbox 360 port "GoldenEye Reloaded" last year.

The developer is the latest in a string of companies to see layoffs and closures following the release of a James Bond videogame.

Bizarre Creations were shut down by Activision in 2011 following the poor sales performance of "Blood Stone". Nintendo DS developer n-Space suffered mass layoffs shortly before the release of their dismal port of "Blood Stone".

Raven Software were also pulled mid-development on a third-person James Bond game in late 2010.

EA also cancelled its "Casino Royale" videogame before abandoning its 007 license early.

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