Wargaming has closed down their Seattle studio today with the loss of around 150 jobs. An employee told Gamasutra that Wargaming’s CEO announced the studio closure at a surprise all-hands meeting Wednesday morning.
Wargaming Seattle was originally Gas Powered Games, a studio headed by Chris Taylor which released popular games like Dungeon Siege and Total Annihilation. Gas Powered was acquired by Wargaming Group Limited in 2013. The acquisition happened after the studio failed to raise enough money to release a new ARPG on Kickstarter. Gas Powered Games dates all the way back 1998, it was said to see it go then, and it’s even sadder to see the successor studio go now.
A few years later, in November 2016, Chris Taylor left the studio to head up his own indie company. Last anyone heard, the company was working on a new RTS game in 2017.
The decision will reportedly leave around 150 employees without jobs, though efforts to recruit and re-employ them have already begun via the hashtag #WGJobs. This is now the second of Wargaming’s Seattle-based studios to fold. The first closure was WG Cells, a mobile developer that employed 64 people.
Wargaming issued this statement on the unfortunate events:
Wargaming will be closing their Redmond development studio as part of the company’s restructuring process. Every member of the 150-strong team that has been working on an unannounced MMO project will be offered a severance package. Wargaming will be assisting the current employees of the Redmond studio, if they decide to apply for open positions in other offices within the company. We would like to express our gratitude and thank everyone on the team for their hard work.