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Starhawk dev LightBox lays off 24, steps away from consoles

by Alice O'Connor, Oct 18, 2012 9:30am PDT

Starhawk developer LightBox Interactive has laid off 24 people as it prepares to move away from shiny big console games with a smaller, self-funded game for iOS. The PlayStation 3-exclusive spiritual successor to Warhawk received a lukewarm critical and commercial reception, and Sony has said it's no longer working with the Austin studio.

"Why the lay-offs? Well, as you know... the industry is changing," LightBox president Dylan Jobe told IGN. "We are moving away from traditional console development to self-fund the development of our next game on Apple's iOS devices."

Jobe insisted that LightBox was doing right by those laid off, though.

"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," he said. "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."

LightBox was founded in 2009 by Jobe and other veterans of the Sony-owned Warhawk creator Incognito Entertainment. Starhawk is its only released game.

Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed that it has "amicably ended its working agreement" LightBox. It added, "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."

Sony's own Santa Monica Studio will continue support for Starhawk and Warhawk. The best of luck to everyone at LightBox affected by this.





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