Elite: Dangerous developer lays off 6 percent of its staff

Elite: Dangerous

When UK-based games developer Frontier announced plans to revisit the long-dormant, fan favorite Elite series, people lined up to donate to the firm’s Kickstarter. As of this moment, the fundraiser for Elite: Dangerous has raised £784,850 (a little over $1.27 million USD), and has 18 days left to pull in the remainder of its £1,250,000 goal. You’d think that at a time like this the company would be gearing up to put all that money toward the development of the game; investing in better technology, hiring new staff, that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, you’d be completely wrong. Instead, Frontier is laying people off.

As of 6PM on Friday, December 14, roughly 6 percent of Frontier’s staff received notice that they were no longer employed with the company. This morning, Frontier managing director David Walsh confirmed the layoffs to Eurogamer, saying that the roles occupied by these 14 people were redundant, and that the company plans to hire other people to better balance its developmental skill set.

“Frontier regretfully has given a total of 14 people (from a staff of 233) notice that their roles are redundant, across art (9), animation (3) and audio (2) disciplines,” Walsh stated. “This is due to the changing mix of skills requirements for our current and future projects — it is not a reflection on the company’s prospects, which remain healthy.”

Okay, that’s understandable, but isn’t it still a bit Dickensian to lay anyone off 11 days before Christmas? Walsh claims the dismissals were an effort to ensure that these employees would be able to find new employment as quickly as possible.

“Once we took the decision to make the roles redundant, we felt it was better that the affected people knew ASAP so they can plan any further expenditure over the Christmas period accordingly and focus on their search for new roles as soon as possible,” Walsh said.

Whether you believe Walsh or are currently hoping that he’s visited by a trio of spirits on Christmas Eve is a matter of personal opinion, but it does seem inarguably odd that the company would only realize and act on these redundancies once it neared its Kickstarter goal. Whether they will have any impact on the eventual quality of Elite: Dangerous is anyone’s guess at this point, but that’s really beside the point. 14 people are now out of a job in what is supposed to be the most jolly time of the year. We wish them luck.


Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

Turn to these apps to help you in your next hunt for a job

Looking for a job can be a stressful experience, but these days, a simple mobile app can help you to find and apply for jobs all over the country -- here are some of the best job search apps for iOS and Android.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.