The games industry serves up some more troubling news, in that 5th Cell has suffered layoffs after Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment made the sudden move to cancel development on Scribblenauts: Fighting Words.
The studio is well-known for letting our imagination run wild in the Scribblenauts series, which struck success on Nintendo DS, but they have also worked on Drawn to Life, Run Roo Run and Hybrid.
Their next project had been Anchors In The Drift, a free-to-place action RPG with a unique twist that gives players the freedom to combine and craft their own customised combat abilities from collectible cards. They had turned to Fig to secure funding for the project, but fell significantly short of their $500,000 goal.
“WB cancelled [Scribblenauts: Fighting Words] today so we had to lay off the staff,” CEO Jeremiah Slaczka clarified to Polygon. “It happened so quick we’re not sure what the plans are going forward yet.”
More clarification is to be shared in a statement that will be released in the coming hours, but our thoughts are with those affected by the unexpected job losses.
Update: 5th Cell’s statement on the layoffs is as follows:
“Unfortunately, due to a project cancellation, we have had to let go of 45 of our very talented staff members today.
“Layoffs aren’t something we take lightly and we’d like to thank all our employees for all the hard work and dedication over the years.
“5th Cell as a company is not closing down, but our focus right now is 100 percent on helping our staff make the transition to other external opportunities. If we haven’t already reached out, any interested employer can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”