In the world of video game development, studios will often take jobs porting titles for added revenue. That’s been a key service provided by Backbone Entertainment, a long-time player in the industry.
However, as reported by Gamasutra, Backbone Entertainment has suffered a round of layoff, citing a decreased demand for console development in more recent years.
Here’s the official quote from Backbone CEO James North-Hearn, CEO of Backbone’s parent company Foundation 9:
“Due to a lower demand for conventional console development, the studio has made some difficult but necessary adjustments in both its capacity and services, with the goal of matching the changing needs of today’s market. The dedicated development staff at Backbone has put together some of the studio’s best work for our partners in the upcoming fall releases, Dance Central 3 and Midway Arcade Origins.”
Backbone Entertainment’s last development gig to see a release was The Simpsons Arcade Game, following a long line of console ports helmed by the developer, including several Xbox Live Arcade titles. Notably, the company seems to deal exclusively with consoles, as their history doesn’t note any mobile projects.
It’s a sign of the times when a company as tenured as Backbone Entertainment faces cuts due to lower activity in the console market. It can likely chalked up to lower game sales, and industry talent shift to the mobile market, or a combination of both affecting the industry at large.