In the most literal sense. The studio - which has helped on the Halo series & Left 4 Dead, and is the team behind Age of Booty - has only ever bought six computers. Their furniture is used, picked up cheap from a fellow game developer that went bust. And the 29-strong development team's sole piece of entertainment, a ping-pong table, belongs to CA President Max Hoberman. As in, he brought it in from home.
Sounds crazy, but it's a proven success. Late last year, after Age of Booty was complete and the team had finished their contract work on Left 4 Dead, there was no work. No work meant no money coming in, which for many businesses would mean, well, the end of business.
But Certain Affinity's frugal practices meant they had plenty of cash on hand to outlast the lean months, and with the studio now at work on a game for Activision, those 29 employees are still in a job when otherwise they would have found themselves out on the street.
Wonder how many other studios could/should implement similar practices?