David Jaffe will be leaving Eat Sleep Play after overseeing the patches to Twisted Metal, and has confirmed layoffs at the studio as the project draws to a close. He says he's looking into starting a new studio closer to home, since he misses working directly with a team and games are difficult to direct remotely.
Initial reports from the Salt Lake Tribune suggested the studio had laid off eight employees, and that Jaffe was leaving to pursue casual games. Jaffe then confirmed the layoffs and his impending departure via Twitter. He says, "games are just getting2big to direct from 300 miles away&I miss the day2day of working direct w/team." Jaffe will be staying at ESP for balance and bug fixes to Twisted Metal, which he estimates will take roughly 1.5-3 months.
As for the casual games rumor, Jaffe says "never say never" but insists he has "zero plans to make games like FARMVILLE and ANGRY BIRDS."
Twisted Metal is set to launch on February 14, so according to his timeline, Jaffe would be departing ESP for greener (and closer) pastures by mid-May.