Kickstarter could save Gas Powered Games following mass layoffs

Majority of staff lose jobs at the Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander studio

Washington state studio Gas Powered Games is clinging on following deep cuts to its workforce over the weekend.


Estimates in the media suggest that as many as forty staff had been let go from the Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander studio on Friday, following the news that its director Chris Taylor is "betting the company" on a Kickstarter project.

It is said that the last of the remaining money at Gas Powered Games was put into developing the group's next project, Wildman, though a further $1.1 million has been sought via Kickstarter to finish the project.

The Kickstarter project has raised 268,000 of its total at the time of going to press.

Despite his business being thrown into disarray, Taylor appeared upbeat in an interview with Polygon.

"I don't want to make any assumptions at this point, but things look much better, and I think it's still going to be a long road ahead, but we're prepared to work very hard to make this happen," he said.

"And I'm already making phone calls and setting up meetings to talk to key people about coming back, to see the campaign through. At least now, everyone has their eyes wide open, no surprises."

Taylor claims that there is still a skeleton crew at the company which allows the business to remain functional. He added that it was fairer on the team to not hinge their livlihoods on the outcome on a Kickstarter campaign.

"If I ran this team through the entire Kickstarter campaign and it fails to fund, then I have to let everyone go, shut the company down, no one gets any unpaid PTO or severance... And that I decided was not worth it. I really felt like it was a crazy idea to gamble in this economy and gamble with the people here who are the most talented and loyal people. To play a card game with their livelihoods is not smart."