Slightly Mad Studios is currently without a project

Next week, Shift 2: Unleashed will race to retail, but the post-launch festivities at developer Slightly Mad Studios are a bit dampened by the news of layoffs. According to comments made by studio head Ian Bell to (registration required), another project that was underway has been suddenly canceled, affecting several studio staff.

"Essentially we were let down at the last minute by one publisher who we'd signed a deal with only for it to be canned before we even started. I can't say who," Bell said. He went on to say that he's still in talks with the publisher in question among others. As for the studio's next project, that's currently up in the air. Bell says Slightly Mad hasn't been able to "secure a deal for a new project... yet," though he adds that he's "optimistic about the future."

Those affected by layoffs at Slightly Mad have somewhat of a silver lining: Ian Bell and Slightly Mad's other co-founder, Andy Garton, recently formed their own social/mobile studio, Gamagio. Currently, the two are attempting to raise capital for the new venture and, according to Bell, employing ex-Slightly Mad Studios devs.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.