Gas Powered Games hit by layoffs

By Andrew Yoon, Jan 18, 2013 3:46pm PST

Update: Chris Taylor offers a comment about the state of the company, and what will happen to the Kickstarter project he just launched.

Gas Powered Games may have only just launched a Kickstarter for their next game, Wildman. However, it appears that Chris Taylor's studio may have been using the crowdfunding platform in an attempt to stave off its financial troubles.

Taylor has confirmed to Kotaku that "we do have a layoff," but did not offer any further details, saying that "we'll be updating our Kickstarter as well with details very soon."

According to the initial report, "almost everyone at the company has been laid off." In fact, one source alleges that "everyone except CEO Chris Taylor and one or two people." The last two games to come from the studio were Supreme Commander 2 and Age of Empires Online.

"The studio is still operating, but we had to slim WAY down to conserve cash reserves," Taylor confirmed to Gamasutra. Apparently, when he said he was "betting it all" on their upcoming Wildman, they weren't kidding. "We spent all the last dough that we've had, and the last several months working on it. So we're betting the company on it," he said.

When contacted about the layoffs, Taylor said that people were let go, but GPG is still a functioning company, although he didn't elaborate on how the company was still going to operate.

"I'm thinking of asking folks, should I shut the Kickstarter down or not? So I'm about to shoot video that will post up tonight saying just that," he told us. "I had to read the tealeaves and foresee that the Kickstarter was not likely to reach its goal, and if it did, only after I squeezed every friend I have to make a contribution. I didn't want to put people I love through that... as it would be just as painful for them to watch as it was for me to do. So, I made the very hard call to conserve money so that GPG could make a transition into a new business model, some people call it right-sizing, but I call it making a tough strategic decision."

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