"n-Space is down, but definitely not out," says the studio's CEO, Dan O'Leary, addressing rumors that the developer of Call of Duty: Black Ops' DS version has closed its doors.
O'Leary says the independent shop had supported 70 to 90 employees "for several months without funding," making mass layoffs on Friday "unavoidable." That said, O'Leary is optimistic that deals n-Space is currently negotiating can be firmed up this week in time to hire them back. "If all goes as planned we'll be calling people back before the end of the week," he wrote.
O'Leary laments the current state of the games industry, calling it "frankly, a mess," thanks largely to a sour economy. "People that used to buy many games every year now buy a few AAA titles, supplementing their need with games that are free or cost less than a pack of gum," O'Leary writes. "Anything in the middle is struggling. The Wii and DS markets have nearly collapsed and 3DS is a brave new world the publishers are excited about but also very cautious to enter."
The complaint notwithstanding, n-Space has still had a very busy year. It is working on Nintendo DS versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops, GoldenEye and James Bond 007 Bloodstone, as well as Tron: Evolution - Battle Grids for the Wii. n-Space released Toy Story 3 for the DS earlier this year. O'Leary said, in all seven titles will ship this year, five of them approved in September. One is an iPhone game the studio will announce next week.
n-Space Rumor Control [N-Space Blog, thanks Alberto]