We’ve reported on the standard industry cycle time and time again: game ends development, layoffs happen. Stardock (Galactic Civilizations 3), which is also invested in Mohawk Games and Oxide Games, has created the Stardock Staffing Company (SSC) to shift that greatest of assets (“people”) around without layoffs.
“This lets us have a much more stable environment, because no one has to be laid off. Before they’re done with their projects, [staff] can just be assigned to something else, without having to move,” Stardock CEO Brad Wardell told Gamasutra.
The basic idea is that Stardock would find other work within its network of studios and “lease” the employee, without them having to move, which should theoretically help the organization retain talent, reduce costs, and create a greater sense of job security.
We’ve seen versions of this concept before, most notably from Ubisoft and Activision, which have several studios working on annual projects like Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty, respectively. This is a newer concept for a smaller publisher to test across different projects.
Anything that helps us reduce the use of the always-depressing “layoffs” tag is fine by us.