May 26th, 2017

Transmission Games Lay Offs Explained

Following yesterday’s news of Australian developer Transmission Games’ staff cuts, IncGamers has learned that nearly a third of the company’s workforce has been axed.The information comes from a source within the company who contacted IncGamers after yesterday’s report. The email states that the lay offs happened on Wednesday and “consisted of 30+ workers” comprising of “30 full time staff and all (3-5) contractors” bringing the workforce down to 60 from just under a 100.The email also offers some interesting information on the financial state of the company, with staff salaries being delayed “every month for about the last six months.”Our insider also told IncGamers that the redundancies had been planned for a while, but Transmission Games “simply didn’t have the money” to drop the excess weight.Reading through the leaked emails to all staff from Mike Fegan, CEO of Transmission Games, is bleak. The first email, sent on September 18, is positive, but does iterate that cash flow “remains tight” with the company “still micro managing” its weekly expenditures.Ten days later Fegan sent another email with the first hints that some drastic measures will need to be taken as a result of failed meetings to secure paid projects with publishers such as 505 Games, Konami and even Lucasarts.”[S]ome tough decisions will be made in the next few days [to] reduce our overheads,” stated the email.From Fagen’s emails it seems the company’s burn rate of cash is too high, and without any projects booked in and paid for, the company is working on reserve until it gets a cash injection from a publisher.The email also reveals the projects which have been pitched to Lucasarts, 505 and Konami. The title being pitched to Lucasarts is something called Red Tails, a game based on a WWII Tuskegee Airman, written by John Ridley with George Lucas looking to produce the film. Presumably this will be the game tie-in, but there is no more information on this. This project, according to Fegan, is on hold “due to a legal IP problem with the film” and no hope of it being resolved in time to help Transmission Games out of their predicament, although a pre-prepared pitch for a title known as Secret Weapons had been submitted as a back up. We wonder whether that could be at all related to the old LucasArts game Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, as follow-up Secret Weapons of Normandy came out in 2003.There are two other projects mentioned in the mails, the first of which is called Rotorhead, currently being developed as a demo and will be an arcade style helicopter game. According to our source, this game has been pitched to around 15 publishers, with no interest as yet. We reckon Transmission are hoping for 505 to pick this one up after the huge success of IL-2 last month.The final project is Janes F-22 for Evolved Games, publishers of Raven Squad.  According to our source this project has been extended to add more content. With the reduced workforce, however, one has to wonder how the studio will deliver.Transmission Games also seems to have secured a deal for a cricket title, Cricket 2010, and it seems like Codemasters will be the studio publishing that title. After the success of Ashes Cricket 2009 this year, it seems like a safe title for the team, with Codies representatives already visiting the studios to complete the deal.Difficult times for Transmission Games, but we wish the studio the best of luck with future pitches and hope the staff can continue to ride out this rough time.We’ll keep you posted with more information as and when it becomes available.

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