Update: IGN has confirmed this news with a statement from Sony:
Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm that it has amicably ended its working agreement with developer LightBox Interactive, Inc. We have had a positive and long-standing working relationship with this talented studio, and wish them the best of success in their next endeavor. Starhawk and Warhawk will continue to be supported by Santa Monica Studio.
Dylan Jobe, President of Lightbox, also released this statement, which tells the full story:
I am not shutting down LightBox Interactive but I did pre-emptively inform my staff that there were going to be lay-offs on Friday — 24 people to be exact.
Too often in our industry, people are “let-go” with no warning, no severance, no time at all to prepare their portfolios. It’s actually quite terrible. That’s NOT how we run things here at LightBox Interactive. The whole reason for me informing my team of lay-offs before they happen is so they have time to prepare. Collect stuff for their portfolios, capture screen shots or video — the stuff that helps people land on their feet. All 24 employees were also given a severance package.
Why the lay-offs? Well, as you know… the industry is changing. We are moving away from traditional console development to self-fund the development of our next game on Apple’s iOS devices.
Santa Monica Studio and Sony Computer Entertainment are fantastic people and great to work with. We have had, and will continue to have, a great relationship with everyone over there and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to bring the kick-ass games — and hardware — to gamers everywhere.
Original Story: LightBox Interactive in Austin, Texas published their latest game, Starhawk, earlier this year and a recent tweet from 3D Realms’ George Broussard indicates that there may be layoffs and potentially a closure:
Good luck to my buddies at LightBox in Austin. Layoffs and rumors of near whole studio gone by Friday 🙁
As of right now, this is purely a rumor, but Starhawk didn’t exactly set the sales world on fire, meaning this could be possible. If this does turn out to be true though, it will be yet another studio to shut its doors this year.
We’ll update you on any further information as this story progresses.
Let us know what you think of this news in the comments below and whether or not you’ll be rushing to your nearest store to buy a copy of Starhawk to possibly save the studio.