Another sad example of the high stakes of modern videogame development today – Atari are axing 51 of the 80 strong workforce at Test Drive Unlimited studio Eden Games, but the surviving members aren’t taking it lying down – they’ve gone on strike.
The show of solidarity is the culmination of what seems to be a prolonged period of poor communication between Eden Games and owner Atari, with a statement from the studio alleging:
“Eden Games pays now for Atari mismanagement.
For several years we are witnessing multiple leader changes at its head, they did not hesitate to get rich despite financial difficulties.
“Restructuring plans have been following each others for 10 years at Atari. Each time the recovery project was beautiful and promising, and ended in a failure. We are sceptical about the proposed project.”
“Atari does not play the game of negotiations with employee representatives on the redundancy plan measures. Employee representatives of Eden until now have been extremely collaborative, respecting the very tight deadlines of the redundancy plan.”
The workforce has thus taken strike action to enforce a four point agenda, which includes demands for a meeting with CEO Jim Wilson – who the employees say they have never actually been introduced to -,constructive negotiation over the restructuring process, equal compensation for Eden Games employees as that received by Atari workers, and sharing of future financial and viability information between the studio and its owner.
Matters have clearly come to a head in the wake of the disastrous launch of Test Drive Unlimited 2, which was considered heavily bugged upon release to the point where the Exploration Pack DLC has been released for free by way of apology.
Thanks to GamesIndustry.biz for bringing our attention to this sad state of affairs.