Ion Storm Austin closes

Hot on the heels of Atari announcing the closing of its Santa Monica, CA, and Beverly, MA, offices, Eidos quietly announced yesterday that it has closed its Ion Storm Austin office and will ramp up its Crystal Dynamics studio in San Francisco.

Ion Storm Austin, known for the Deus Ex franchise and the recent Thief: Deadly Shadows, had been hit by numerous staff departures in the past year, starting with Harvey Smith in February 2004, and Warren Spector later in 2004. According to several sources, numerous other employees have left and joined Midway's office in Austin. The latest news means the loss of 35 jobs at the Austin office. A source inside Eidos said that some of these people may get offers to work elsewhere in Eidos or at Crystal Dynamics, but nothing has been officially released.

In a prepared statement, Eidos said "This is part of the company's move to consolidate and strengthen its technical and management capabilities into a smaller number of studios which are capable of scaling up in order to meet the competitive challenges that lie ahead, particularly in anticipation of next generation technologies and platforms."

In a related move, Eidos said it will be increasing the development capabilities at its Crystal Dynamics studio in San Francisco. More than 50 people are expected to be hired as it move from a two to a three-team studio. Once all positions are hired, Crystal Dynamics would employ more than 180 people.

News source: GameSpy

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