The former Otherside community manager, who also left in November, posted on the official forums:
Extremely sad to see the Austin team affected by layoffs.
FWIW, I know people are concerned about the state of the studio. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried as well. Someone from the Shock3 team has been speaking about their experience over here on the RPGCodex, if it hasn’t been linked already. In that thread, there are more concerns about OSE shutting down and what it means for Shock3 as well as ongoing projects.
I want to say, having been at OSE while layoffs were happening and having left just before this next round in Austin, I deeply admired every single developer I had the chance to work with. Having played the internal SS3 demo, I know the Austin team worked their asses off and made some stunning progress in the past couple of months. It hurts to see many of these developers out of a job on a project they worked so hard on. Some of the developers in Boston, like Jared, still haven’t found full-time work since June.
I understand this is the reality of game development, and doing this kind of work at an indie makes this so much harder. I watched firsthand a lot of the struggles that went into publishing UA. I wish all of our fellow former- and current-OSE employees the best of luck with their endeavors. I imagine the studio felt similarly a few years ago, when UA was floundering for funding. They pulled through, somehow. I hope OSE can pull off the same, while still maintaining the quality and lessons learned.
I genuinely wish and hope that the additional Boston project and SS3 continue to steer forward.
What the former Otherside staffer shared:
There’s a lot of criticism of Warren here that I don’t think is very fair. He was the most visible face of the team so I imagine it’s natural to assign him blame, but if anything we needed more of his direct involvement. The team had a lot of strong personalities and he was mostly hands-off. In person he has a very gentle, kind, and humble demeanor. He had a good vision for the game, and perhaps some ambitions that were outside our reach, but I don’t recall his involvement ever being corrosive.
The things that hurt us were:
Picking Unity over UE4.
Design being understaffed, and effective design leadership coming much too late.
Milestone tunnel vision. A lot of the work put into the milestone demos ended up getting thrown away.
The UA trainwreck.
Starbreeze pulling out due to bankruptcy.
Some things went right:
In spite of the technical difficulties with the engine, the staff at Unity were incredibly supportive and helpful. Some of the AAA improvements to Unity in the last couple years were born from the work they did with us.
Our milestone demos looked great.
We touched on some truly innovative game systems that I unfortunately can’t talk about. We shed sweat and blood to get them working, but it started to come together.