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Eurocom (007 Legends) Issues Major Layoffs and Changes Company Focus

The video game industry has not been a gentle beast to yet another development studio which has been forced to issue massive layoffs and shift its focus as a company in an attempt to stay alive.  Today U.K. based developer Eurocom announced that it will be shedding the majority of it’s staff and focusing on mobile efforts in the future due to the continued economic shifts and lackluster performances from their last few titles.

Most known this generation as a company that does a solid job at handling new installments in established franchises through games such as Dead Space: Extraction, Eurocom will now trim it’s staff so that only fifty people remain. A staff of fifty is certainly a high number as it’s nearly double of other studios out there, but the big deal with Eurocom is that company is letting nearly 150 staffers go. Yup, it’s one of those unfortunate purge moments which is going to see a lot of talented folks without a job.

The remaining staff at Eurocom will now focus on mobile efforts, presumably for iOS/Android platforms while it completely forgoes console games, in particular the next-gen, completely.  It’s kind of rare to see such a studio make such a drastic decision these days, though the company reshift should’ve been expected due to the justifiably lukewarm reception that 007 Legends, the last game from the studio, received from gamers and critics alike.

007 Legends definitely wasn’t an example of Eurocom in it’s highest form so it’s a shame that the studio is effectively killing it’s nearly twenty-five year legacy due to that unfortunate title.  Eurocom’s new situation and the reaction to 007 Legends does in a way raise questions as to what Activision will do with the 007 license considering that Eurocom was previously pegged as the go-to studio to develop new James Bond titles. Chatter hasn’t been abound about whether or not Activision will lose or give-up the 007 license so that of course means a new studio may be pursued to develop 007’s next adventure. 

Currently most of Activision’s internal studios, such as Sledgehammer, are doing support work on the beast that is Call of Duty so it could be unlikely to see one of them take up the 007 mantle.  But considering that Raven Software, now relegated as a CoD support studio, once worked on a 3rd person 007 game perhaps we’ll see the powers that be resurrect that project in order to keep the franchise alive.  I’m just wondering if potential 3rd party studios will be apprehensive about tackling the 007 franchise since it’s already killed two major studios (Bizarre Creations, and Eurocom).

I think it’s honest to say that Eurocom hasn’t set the world on fire through their most recent releases but it’s a shame that such drastic things are being done so the studio won’t be shuttered.  Hopefully Eurocom will be able to go back to their old spirit found in titles such as Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy through their new mobile efforts and not just fade away into obscurity.