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Starhawk dev LightBox lays off 24, steps away from consoles

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.

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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.

From The Chatty
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    October 18, 2012 9:30 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Starhawk dev LightBox lays off 24, steps away from consoles.

    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.

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      October 18, 2012 9:36 AM

      Man that is a big bummer as those games were quality stuff. Wasn't a Shacker on the team?

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        October 18, 2012 9:40 AM

        At least two I think

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        October 18, 2012 10:09 AM

        mittense is, even if not a regular as the old times. Making games is a busy endeavor! But there's another one - I don't remember his handle, though.

        Hope those guys land alright.

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      October 18, 2012 9:45 AM

      Why did they not just make a warhawk squeal? Loved Warhawk!

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        October 18, 2012 9:56 AM

        they probably needed to not be PS3 exclusive to make a successful multiplayer game regardless.

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      October 18, 2012 10:08 AM

      That's sad to hear. Starhawk is the only multiplayer game I play right now as it actually feels different from all the other games right now and it was really well done. I even play it without my friends since I can't seem to get people away from this CoD crap.

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      October 18, 2012 10:09 AM

      A few artists and animators I worked with at 3DR moved down there and have been at Lightbox for years now. Really hope they're okay, and not in the laid-off group.

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      October 18, 2012 10:15 AM

      I'm actually one of the *very* few people who remain at the studio going forward, but I lost so many close friends and coworkers in this whole thing. It's a super depressing week.

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        October 18, 2012 10:17 AM

        That sucks man. I always thought Warhawk and Starhawk were games that deserved better marketing maybe? Not sure why they weren't more popular.

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        October 18, 2012 10:37 AM

        I've been there man. Best of luck to you and your friends. I'm sure there was so much excitement about the project and wanting to get it seen. It can be a very disappointing experience.

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        October 18, 2012 10:38 AM

        I'm sorry man. If it makes you feel any better, I just finished the PSN+ single player campaign yesterday and thought the game was great!

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          October 18, 2012 10:55 AM

          That does indeed make me feel better! Starhawk was my baby. I love hearing what people thought of it (good or bad) randomly throughout the months since its release on various game sites, twitter, facebook, etc.

          And I really am excited for what we're working on now, but I already miss all of my coworkers something fierce.

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        October 18, 2012 11:01 AM

        I've been there man, it's never a fun spot to be in :(. Glad you were able to keep your job, sorry you lost so many co-workers in the shake-up though.

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        October 18, 2012 11:26 AM

        Is Andrew still there? :(

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        October 18, 2012 11:29 AM

        [deleted]

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        October 18, 2012 12:09 PM

        Well that sucks. Are you looking forward to this new iOS game? Keep us updated.

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          October 18, 2012 12:11 PM

          oh, absolutely. and i hope we can talk more frequently about it along the way. i'm actually super excited for what we're going to be working on and the people i'm working with

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        October 18, 2012 6:54 PM

        Man that sucks. I had a ton of fun with Starhawk.

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      October 18, 2012 10:26 AM

      I've just finished starhawk on hard, it was fun!

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      October 18, 2012 2:49 PM

      I wish the hell Sony would do a PC port of Starhawk. I think it would do better with a PC audience.

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        October 18, 2012 5:59 PM

        I agree, if nothing else it gives us something better to play than H.A.W.X.

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          October 18, 2012 6:45 PM

          Starhawk has more letters in the name alone, therefore it is better.

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