Cyan Lays Off Nearly 50 After SouthPeak Bought Gamecock

By Blake Ellison, Nov 12, 2008 11:11am PST Myst developer Cyan Worlds has laid off the majority of its for-hire QA testing division after its number-one customer Gamecock was acquired by publisher SouthPeak.

Seven workers remain, doing "testing for a few other smaller game companies," according to CEO Tony Fryman in the Spokesman Review of Spokane, WA, whose report was picked up by Gamasutra. Fryman explained that the testing division began as an in-house testing division but was grew into its own business to keep profits coming in.

Cyan has a troubled history, as its ambitious Myst Online: Uru Live was killed by GameTap earlier this year. In 2005, the studio nearly died after Uru Live was shut down by original publisher Ubisoft the year before.

The Review writes that "at this point Fryman is not certain it can renew a deal for testing with SouthPeak," so the CEO is contacting individual developers to try to secure deals.

In addition, Cyan Worlds is pitching publishers on a new game, which may prove to be the studio's saving grace. But, Fryman admits, "for the upstart ... firms trying to get funding, this is a terrible market."

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