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David Jaffe’s Game Studio Hit With Layoffs and Next Project Cancelled After Publisher Cuts Off Funding

In a sad turn of events, we’ve learned veteran and legendary game developer David Jaffe (God of War, Twisted Metal) has confirmed big layoffs at his indie studio, The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency. What’s more, the project they were working on has been cancelled, all of which a result of their publisher cutting off funding.

Wanted y’all to hear it from me before anyone else: we’ve had a project canceled and have been forced to lay off the vast majority of the Bartlet Jones staff gaming division,” Jaffe said on Twitter. “More news to come but for now, that’s what’s up. Heart’s breaking for the amazingly talented crew that’s out of work :(.”

The studio was developing their next game with a contract from an unconfirmed publisher until this past Monday, upon which they cut off funding to the staff and their project. Jaffe declined to comment on what kind of game they were making, but he did confirm the decision was made after their publisher money was cut off.

“That was the vast majority of where we were getting our funding from,” Jaffe said to Kotaku. “When they pulled the plug, we were forced to do layoffs.” Now the studio only employs seven of its former two dozen employees.

While it remains unclear what the future for Jaffe’s studio looks like, the studio boss posted a ten minute video to Twitter saying “the last days of Bartlet Jones?!?”, where he touches base with the remaining staff, talk up their options – and of course, talk up the “new NeoGAF,” also known as ResetEra.

Jaffe did say the remaining staff will be paid for a few weeks, during which they’ll kick around a new game project and see how it pans out – as well as its funding.

Our best wishes to Jaffe and his studio – we really liked Drawn to Death and hope their new project, whatever it is, can turn out well.

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About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.



23 comments
  1. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    January 25, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    It’s always a shame to see a studio closing. Drawn to Death had some cool ideas, but the implementation was very questionable.

    Also Jaffe should know better – the new NeoGAF is the same as the old NeoGAF.

  2. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    TheOnceAndFutureKing
    January 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    maybe he could bitch about another High School Prom picture as a last ditch effort

  3. CZ
    CZ
    January 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Harsh, but let’s be real here, you’re not an independent studio if you taken publishes money, and are dependent on it!
    And because of that you’re open and vulnerable to their whims, instead of actually being independent and genuinely self reliant.

  4. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    January 25, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Then why bother?

  5. CZ
    CZ
    January 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Who wants to take a guess which undisclosed studio cut him loose?

  6. sir forde
    sir forde
    January 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Drawn to death had almost nobody playing at launch. It was free for ps plus that month and I found 4 players in the first two weeks online

  7. lucben999
    lucben999
    January 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    The issue is that the mods in ResetEra are the exact same people who banned anyone who rejected SJW dogma back in NeoGAF. The forum was created from the ground up as a continuation of the politicized circlejerk they had going on in NeoGAF, only without Evilore.

    And speaking of SJWs, I wonder if the sudden cutting of funding has anything to do with Jaffe’s appearances in the Honey Badger podcast and some SJW finding out.

  8. bimmyz
    bimmyz
    January 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    karma

  9. PChandler
    PChandler
    January 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Super happy to hear when life gives the middle finger to massive douchebags like Jaffe and Cliffy. B

  10. No_Good_Names_Ever
    No_Good_Names_Ever
    January 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I’m gonna misconstrue his comment as “the world needs ass sliders too”.

  11. Donwel
    Donwel
    January 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    It’s been a decent couple of years for that to be fair.

  12. Donwel
    Donwel
    January 25, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    “Jaffe’s appearances in the Honey Badger podcast”
    What? When was this?

  13. GameZard
    GameZard
    January 25, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    That’s what he gets for leaving Sony just to make his shitty indie game Sony exclusive.

  14. lucben999
    lucben999
    January 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    He showed up twice in 2016 that I remember. Just search David Jaffe in the HoneyBadgerRadio channel on youtube and it will show up.

  15. JohnnyCageFan2
    JohnnyCageFan2
    January 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    And there won’t be true equality unless they jiggle too.

  16. Donwel
    Donwel
    January 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Huh, I didn’t know that. I’ll have to give it a look, thanks dude.

  17. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    January 25, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    >indie
    >has a publisher

    Hmmmm…

  18. ProfessorFluffy
    ProfessorFluffy
    January 25, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I kind of imagine the company was always facing financial issues. Drawn to Death likely was a PSN+ free game on launch because they needed money badly to pay their bills and salaries. Having cashed out so quickly on that game, it’s easy to see that company would be unable to stay open without publisher funding at that point.

  19. McSuperNigger
    McSuperNigger
    January 26, 2018 at 9:50 am

    who cares his games suck and he has a child like mind

  20. Bret Hart
    Bret Hart
    January 26, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Are you telling me SJW’s just complain on the internet and don’t buy the games that caters directly to them? Whoever would of seen that coming!

  21. Z3DH
    Z3DH
    January 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    I like the studio name, if nothing else.