It was a big news in game development industry when 3 days ago two Australian studios, Blue Tongue and Studio Oz, and one studio from US (Pheonix) were shut down by THQ. As part of these events around 200 people were made redundant. Me and my wife happened to be two of them.
I’ve been working for Melbourne based studio Blue Tongue for the last 4 years. Relocated from Poland in 2007, started working as an engine programmer. A year later my wife joined Blue Tongue as a gameplay programmer. Yes, if you’re wondering, we had a lot of common topics 😉
Now that Blue Tongue is gone let me just say few words about time spent there. It was wonderful time. I happened to be be part of “shared technology” team primarily working on a brand new tech for PS3, XBox360 and PC. I learned a lot of new tech stuff during this time which isn’t surprise given I spent 4 years there. But the main thing for me there was to learn that it’s actually possible for game development studio to be extremely employee friendly. Something which based on many articles on the internet you might think can’t be real.
Blue Tongue, from my point of view, was unbelievably motivated bunch of people. Excited about what they’re doing, always friendly and willing to help – whether they were your co-worker or boss it didn’t make any difference. It is just my guess, but I think morale level at Blue Tongue studio was much higher than in majority of other studios around the world. Also, from the programmer point of view, I loved the fact that major architectural decisions were always result of thorough research and discussion of the whole team where everyone had their say. In short, studio culture was great and I’m sure I’ll be missing it wherever is going to be my next place.
The last thing I want to say here is I hope many of the ex-BTE people are going to create their own small game development businesses and be successful there. As for myself, I definitely want to take this “opportunity” (if you can call it that way) and try and do some indie game development for a while. Let’s see how “easy” indie game dev really is in terms of getting enough money for your bills and some food. Whether it works out you never know but surely this is going to be exciting times… at least for the next couple of months 🙂
Now, again, good luck to all ex-Blue Tongue people and I hope our ways cross again in some future!