California-based studio Wavedash has laid of the majority of its staff, with some sources suggesting that only five of the studio’s 30 employees have remained in their roles. In a statement issued over the weekend, the company stated that “we have fallen short of our goals.”
Wavedash was founded in 2015, and its first game – a platform fighter named Icons: Combat Arena – launched into Early Access as a free-to-play title earlier this year. Steamcharts suggests that the game found minimal success, with a peak player count of 856 back in July, a figure which dropped to just 135 over the past 30 days.
The company’s statements says that the developers “have fallen short of our goals.” The developers reportedly knew of the company’s financial troubles, and have been working on a “definitive” version of the game “that will continue to live on, fully playable, for the community.” In closing, the studio told its departing developers that “we’re committed to doing everything we can to help as you look for new endeavours.”
According to Gamasutra, a former employee said that the 25 staff (more than 80% of the studio) who were laid off received less than two weeks’ notice – the redundancies are said to have been announced on September 25, with the employees leaving the company on October 5. The same source states that the departing developers were not issued severance pay.
Those last details in particular are worryingly similar to what we’ve heard from former Telltale developers since the studio’s sudden closure last month. Little to no warning and no severance pay was offered when more than 225 of the 250 developers lost their jobs when the studio ceased almost all production last month. Shortly before that, 158 employees were affected when Capcom shut down its Vancouver studio, which was best known for its work on the Dead Rising series. A “skeleton crew” will remain employed until January 2019 in order to oversee the closure.