Motiga is laying off a "significant percentage" of its staff, as Gigantic continues to struggle towards launch. The game is currently in closed beta and was originally planned for a Fall 2015 release date, only to have the launch window pushed back to 2016. That delay also saw significant changes being made to the game in response to fan requests and play tests.
"It is with deep heartache that Motiga announces the temporary layoff of a significant percentage of our studio today. Our financial situation is such that we are unable to continue supporting the entirety of the studio at this time. Though we are in active and promising discussions with a number of potential investors, the timing for those negotiations extends beyond the resources we have to maintain the staffing required to continue development on Gigantic," wrote Motiga CEO Chris Chung.
"While we intend to continue supporting Gigantic game services for as long as we are able, the reality is that a decision of this magnitude will impact all departments across the studio, an impact that will be felt by our community of beta testers as the services they depend on will operate without the key staff on hand to support those services.," he added. "Our goal at this time is to work aggressively to identify the resources we need to rehire the members of the Motiga family that were laid off today, securing our financial future so that the Gigantic community can continue to work with us to develop this title, and ultimately bring the complete Gigantic experience to the marketplace."
While it sounds like Motiga will continue working on Gigantic, the "key staff" quote makes it hard to believe that Gigantic will launch. While I enjoy the game, it's in the midst of this huge Action-Shooter-MOBA-ish area occupied by Overwatch, Battleborn, Battlecry, Paladins, Lawbreakers, and the recently-announced Paragon. Essentially, there are a number of games that are rather different when you play them, but seem very similar on the surface. It's a hard market to stand out in.
Motiga seems to have realized this and a few days ago, the company dropped the non-disclosure agreement binding players in the current Closed Beta. Now players can share their experiences in Gigantic with others. Motiga has cuts staffers even as it tries to increase the visibility of the game, which is a tough thing to do. They're basically in a full court press with the little resources they have.
"We're also increasing our engagement at our fansites through interviews and forum posts, as well as spending more time supporting our streamers and broadcasters with assets and developer chats. As part of our efforts to increase overall transparency, the forums are now publically viewable for all," wrote Motiga senior community manager Troy Hewitt.
That's going to be a hard road to travel. I wish them luck.