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Eat Sleep Play, which will shortly ship Twisted Metal, has reportedly laid off eight employees. The Salt Lake City Tribune also reports that co-founder David Jaffe is out and expected to pursue "casual games." Jaffe responded to the "rumor" of him making casual games after Twisted Metal as "highly exaggerated."

Eat Sleep Play now has a staff of 26 and will transition to iPhone and iPad development. "It's a platform that is in our pockets almost 24/7. It's kind of the size and types of games we're playing," said other co-founder Scott Campbell to the Salt Lake Trib. "You can certainly reach a lot more people. That's pretty exciting for us."

Campbell confirmed Jaffe's departure and said that the company and Jaffe are "going down two separate paths." Twisted Metal is Eat Sleep Play's second project, following the disappointing reception and sales of Calling all Cars. We've contacted Jaffe for clarification of his current status.

Update: David Jaffe has confirmed that following the release of Twisted Metal (along with sticking around for balancing and bug fixing), he will step away from Eat Sleep Play. Jaffe also confirmed an undisclosed number of layoffs. ESP's office is located in Utah, while co-founder David Jaffe currently resides in California. Jaffe cited issues with directing a big game from a distance and a fondness for internal game development as reasons behind his decision to leave.

The Twisted Metal director plans to open a new studio in San Diego and says he is "talking2peeps" for his new company to tackle some "big, huge next gen game ideas" or even "stuff in the browser space" that he labeled as "gamer centric."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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