UPDATED: Wargaming Seattle announced its closure this week, leaving the studio’s 150 employees without jobs, and raising questions about its parent company Wargaming.net’s financial state.
“Development was discontinued on May 23,” Wargaming.net rep Arthur Pratapopau told Variety. “Certain activities will be continuing for several weeks related to the physical closure of the location. Although all employees will be paid for at least 60 days and be eligible for a severance payment thereafter, most will not be required to report to the studio.”
A former Wargaming Seattle told Gamasutra that the company called a “surprise all-hands” meeting on Thursday. The meeting included Wargaming chief Victor Kislyi, who delivered the news to the employees. Wargaming released the following statement regarding the studio closure:
“Wargaming will be closing their Redmond development studio as part of the company’s restructuring process,” it reads. “Every member of the 150-strong team that has been working on an unannounced MMO project will be offered a severance package. Wargaming will be assisting the current employees of the Redmond studio if they decide to apply for open positions in other offices within the company. We would like to express our gratitude and thank everyone on the team for their hard work.”
Former Wargaming Seattle employees took to Twitter after the abrupt closure on May 23. It’s unclear if the closure was immediate for all employees or if the studio will be open until the end of the month.
Geekwire reports the shutdown of Wargaming Seattle, located in Redmond, Wash., is related to company restructuring. Wargaming Seattle is known for its “Dungeon Siege” and “Supreme Commander” titles, but the studio was recently working on an unannounced MMO project.
Wargaming Seattle has faced financial struggles in the past. The studio was founded in 1998 as Gas Powered Games by Chris Taylor, who’s known for his work on “Total Annihilation” (1997). Taylor launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to collect funds for the studio, but the company was ultimately acquired by Wargaming.net in 2013. Taylor left Wargaming Seattle in 2016 to start an indie game studio. He expressed his sadness over the studio’s closure on Twitter.