SCi to cut jobs, cans 14 projects

UK production jazz moved to Montreal.

SCi, parent company of Tomb Raider publisher Eidos, has said that is plans to cut jobs as part of a radical restructuring plan, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

The company plans to operate at a maximum head count of 800, a reduction of 25 per cent, while the board has decided to cancel 14 projects currently under way as they will not generate an acceptable return on investment or are not of sufficient quality.

"Following our business review over the last six weeks, we are initiating a clear action plan based on three fundamental strands of activity: a radical change in our structure to a studio-led business, a top to bottom programme of product improvement and efficiency and a considerable cost reduction plan," commented Phil Rogers, CEO of the company.

"To get SCi on track we have to act rapidly and effect change quickly. We must allow the world-class people that we have within the Group to focus on strong, profitable titles which will create the value our shareholders deserve.

"I am confident our staff share this vision and excitement for the future, and determination to build a working environment where our innovation and creativity can be commercially realised," he added.

The company plans to switch from a centrally controlled development and publishing model to a studio-lead business focusing on its core products - Tomb Raider, Hitman, Championship Manager and Deus Ex.

New media and casual gaming will be fused under the Eidos Play brand, and the group will move its production services - which includes localisation and QA - from London to Montreal to take advantage of the lower cost environment.

The firm says it intends to cut annual operating costs by GBP 14 million by the end of June 2008 at a one off cost of GBP 7 million.

"Our quality has slipped below acceptable standards and, through disappointing game development and working within an ineffective operating structure, we are failing to realise the commercial return our creative ability and our shareholders demand," said the company. "Our infrastructure is too big and expensive for the scale of the business."

SCi also indicated that it would consider any acquisition offers for the company, although it is not actively seeking offers.

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