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Buzz! developer lays off 20 in rebuilding phase; ex-staff form Full Moon studio

Ben Gilbert, @RealBenGilbert
February 18, 2011
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Within in the past two weeks, approximately 20 employees of Relentless Software -- makers of quiz game franchise Buzz! and charming puzzler The Blue Toad Murder Files -- were let go. The developer announced as much this week, with director and co-founder Andrew Eades telling GamesIndustry.biz, "We have recently restructured the company to work on a variety of different projects and different platforms."

According to Eades, the layoffs are part of the studio's previously revealed plans to reshape itself into a multiplatform developer. In fact, Relentless is actually hiring new staff as part of its rebuilding effort. "Our real strategy going forward is to change the company from a disc-based, console games company only -- which is what we were; we were only PlayStation 3; we were only console; we were only quiz, in fact. We wanted to change the company to have much more breadth and embrace the new digital platforms we saw coming in," Eades reiterated.

Thankfully, just as quickly as the layoffs took place, a new studio was born out of the bad news: Full Moon. Representative Kalvin Lyle told GI.biz that "no animosity" is felt towards Relentless, and that some of the Full Moon staff are even looking forward to working with their old coworkers in the future. "I can't speak for everyone, but I think we're trying to make the best of it," Lyle said. Full Moon will focus on "casual gaming and digital distribution," though no projects are in the works just yet.

Beyond news of the restructuring, Relentless announced its next project, an iPhone quiz title (shock!) named Quiz Climber. The game has players answering questions in order to advance up friends' leaderboards, represented by a tree in the game. EA-owned Chillingo will publish the title and says the game will arrive sometime this spring.

[Image credit: jaygooby]









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