Krome studios CEO Robert Walsh has said despite rumors and reports to the contrary, the studio has not been shuttered, and is currently working on more than one project.
Speaking with IGN, Walsh said there are “realistically” at least 40 people working on projects, and he hope to get around 40-45 more people in the very near future to fill seats if a potential project goes through.
“I’ll find out in the next day or two, if this project goes ahead,” he said. “And then we have another project that comes up in a couple of weeks, which could [require] another 40 people. So it’s going to be anywhere between 30 and 100. It’s pretty much just a smaller version of what [Krome] was.
“Basically, all we’re doing now is working on paying projects. One of the things that Krome’s done over the years is that we’ve tried to keep staff on as long as possible, when we didn’t necessarily have paying work. To be really honest, that’s pretty much led to our current position. We probably kept 100, 120 people on, waiting for work to come in. Now we’ve just… you know, our business model doesn’t work, and we’re just working on the stuff that we know is real, and moving forward in that way. The other thing that we’re doing, too, is that we’re keeping a smaller, core team to do contract work, as opposed to keeping massive overheads. Where the dollar is now, you can’t afford to keep people on, to carry them through the peaks and the troughs.”
Earlier this year, the company was forced to make more than one round of cuts, which seemed to devastate Walsh.
“I had to let a lot of my friends go [from Krome], who I’ve known for 10 years, and I wasn’t really getting much compassion from the journalism industry,” relayed Walsh. “So it’s like, no matter what I say, people will say something else, so what’s the point?
“The thing that makes it really disheartening, is that we’ve always tried to run Krome like a family business. We’ve invested in our staff. Like I said, we’ve kept people on for a year on projects that potentially wouldn’t go ahead, and you know, it’s the staff that are really going to suffer [in the] longer term. There’s not a lot work in Australia [in the games industry] right now, and that was one of the reasons we tried to keep people on for as long as possible, because where else would they go? A lot of people are going to have to go abroad, and even still, EA just laid off 100, Propaganda laid off 100… Our industry’s contracting pretty heavily right now.”
The latest titles from Krome include Blade Kitten, Legend of the Guardians, and MS’s Game Room.