Game Studio Shuts Down, Blames Internal Leaks To Media

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Game Studio Shuts Down, Blames Internal Leaks To Media

Possibility Space, a studio founded by State of Decay creator Jeff Strain, has shut down, according to several social media posts from its former employees.

An April 12 LinkedIn post from Jennifer Lane, whose profile lists her as a live director/social systems director at Possibility Space, reads, “My company shuttered its doors today and there are now a lot of amazing and skilled coworkers that are suddenly open to work today. Please consider them for any positions you have open in design, engineering, art, community and other roles. I am also #opentowork and available to chat! Thank you.”

An email from Strain, obtained by Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter, blames the studio’s closure on the decision to cancel its major project, which Strain claims was made after internal studio leaks to the press. The email specifically names Kotaku senior reporter Ethan Gach.

Late last week I received a list of topics and questions from Ethan Gach, a reporter at Kotaku, regarding an article he’s writing about Prytania Media and the closure of Crop Circle Games. Much of it was expected but I was also stunned to see non-public information about Project Vonnegut, disclosure of our publishing partner with details of our business and financial relationship, and details of internal P&L discussions and confidential all-company meetings. Mr. Gach specifically credits current employees as the source of his information.

Leaks of this nature are typically malicious and done by outside hacking, so to see internal team members under a confidentiality agreement engage in this was shocking. Given the company’s own strict confidentiality and notification obligations, I immediately got on a plane for in-person meetings with our publishing partner to discuss the impact on the project. During that discussion our partner expressed low confidence they would be willing to invest the additional resources needed to complete the game, so we mutually agreed to cancel Vonnegut.

As a result of the cancellation of the publishing relationship and after careful consideration, I am closing Possibility Space. Today is your last day of employment at Possibility Space and Prytania Media. Your final paycheck including pay for work through the end of today will be deposited to your account, along with any other required payments, as dictated by your work location. For employees located outside of the United States, today will serve as the first day of your Notice Period and your final day of employment is currently scheduled for April 19, 2024. However, all non-US employees—like their US peers—will have no work obligations after today. In addition, all employees affiliated through a PEO will have their employment separation processed according to applicable law.

It will take a few more days to finalize details of the termination agreement with our publishing partner, calculate our tax, insurance, vendor, and contractor obligations, and any other outstanding liabilities, and then determine what we can offer for severance.

I’ve retained a D.C.-based global law firm to oversee the wind-down of the studio. An employment attorney from that firm will soon follow up to your personal email address with additional details, and that person will be your direct point of contact from ehr on for all matters related to your employment, including continuation of insurance benefits, severance payments, and/or associated separation agreements. A copy of this email has also been sent to your personal email address.

You may keep your development equipment provided you permanently delete all company information, confirm you have done so in writing, and strictly abide by your existing confidentiality obligations, including proper handling of company IP and other confidential and prosperity information. This confirmation will be coordinated through the forthcoming communications noted above.

As of today I am stepping away from the game industry to focus on my family and care for Annie. I wish all of you the best as you navigate this complex industry and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Jeff

Possibility Space was created by Strain under the Prytania Media label (which Strain founded with his wife, Annie Delisi Strain) in 2021.

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Article source https://kotaku.com/possibility-space-shut-down-jeff-strain-email-employees-1851407683

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