Gameloft is a big name in the video game industry. The publisher has done its part in the release of hundreds of games, including 13 distinct releases in the Asphalt series as well as countless other mobile and portable releases. Unfortunately, the publisher has hit on hard times, and after announcing nearly two years ago that all future published games would be free-to-play, Gameloft eventually closed the doors on some of its studios. Last month saw the closure of the New Orleans Gameloft office, and now it appears the company's Madrid studio is shutting down, with reports indicating that 40 individuals have lost their jobs.
According to a report from Games Industry.biz, the closure of the Madrid office marks the seventh Gameloft studio shutdown in around three years. Other locations that have closed up shop were based in New York, Seattle, Valencia, New Zealand, and Tokyo. This report also indicates that Eurogamer sub director Josep Maria Sempere was able to confirm that the employees were notified of the closure, and that the company is now working on specific details of contracts and settlements.
Sempere was also able to confirm some additional details regarding the Madrid closure, namely that the employees were given no prior warning of the company's plans to shut down the office. This was reportedly also the case with the Valencia studio closure, the details of which included the publisher then having current open positions offered on various employment-based websites.
It's certainly disheartening to hear about the trouble experienced by Gameloft and its employees, but in the rapidly-changing video game market, we can't exactly be surprised. Mobile games may be bigger than ever, but our expectations as both consumers and gamers aren't clearly-defined. Until mobile and portable gaming hits a point where studios know exactly what fans are looking for, even more closures may be in the future.