A mere two weeks before the release of its second game, Tony Hawk: Shred developer Robomodo is hit by layoffs, with sources reporting 30 to 60 jobs being cut due to the loss of the Tony Hawk franchise.
Formed in 2008, Robomodo is the Chicago-based development studio that Activision put in charge of the Tony Hawk franchise, starting with last year's ill-received Tony Hawk: Ride, which introduced a plastic skateboard peripheral to the series. The second Robomodo-developer Tony Hawk game, Shred, is due out at the end of this month.
It might also be the developer's last.
Kotaku has received multiple tips today regarding layoffs at Robomodo. Two separate sources have told us that 30 employees have lost their jobs as of this morning, and another suggested the number would grow to 60 by the end of the day.
Sources tell Kotaku that the layoffs were affected in some way by news that Tony Hawk publisher Activision had taken the franchise away from the developer. One source told us that a wrap party planned for Tony Hawk: Shred with the star attending was pushed back to November without notice prior to today's layoffs.
The Robomodo website is currently down, and no one is answering phones at the developer's office.
We've reached out to both Activision and Robomodo's public relations teams for comment, and will update this post once we hear back.
Does this mean that Tony Hawk will be losing the silly plastic board?
Update: Activision is not commenting on the situation at this time.
Update 2: Robomodo has delivered the following statement from president Josh Tsui:
"It is always difficult to let hard-working and valued employees go. Robomodo has retained all of the company's directors and leads, along with other staff members. All are busy working on future projects and ideas, which will become the innovative games of tomorrow. We hope to bring back some of our team as we ramp up on our next projects."