2016 has been a hard year for game studios, with Lion Head and Press Play Studios being closed down, and the layoffs at Carbine Studios, there have been good people in the industry out of work. It seems you may soon need to add another studio to that list. 5th Cell, the studio behind Drawn to Life and Scribblenauts has suffered serious layoffs today.
In a tweet today by Tim Borrelli, lead animator at 5th Cell, he stated "RIP 5th Cell", he went on to say that "If anyone is looking for kickass artists, programmers, designers, QA, IT, and more, let me know."
It is always sad to see a talented team of developers out of work. The Seattle-based 5th Cell managed to come up with some incredible titles, all with unique takes on gameplay. As with every studio, not everything was a blockbuster success, but they managed to make a slew of fantastic titles, which were fun, engaging and creative.
Sadly, their most recent project Anchors in the Drift did not meet the crowdfunding goal on the Fig platform. Only managing $107,223 out of the required $500,000 goal back in November. Their most recent title Scribblenauts: Fighting Words was canceled by WB, and it was this cancellation that caused this latest set of layoffs. We hope everyone affected by this news finds employment quickly.
Update: Jeremiah Slaczka CEO and Founder of 5th Cell has responded to our request for comment, and have confirmed that there were layoffs, although as of right now the studio is not closed. The official statement is as follows: "Unfortunately, due to a project cancellation, we have had to let go of 45 of our very talented staff members today. Layoffs aren't something we take lightly, and we'd like to thank all our employees for all the hard work and dedication over the years."
He goes on to confirm that "5TH Cell as a company is not closing down, but our focus right now is 100% on helping our staff make the transition to other external opportunities. If we haven't already reached out, any interested employer can reach us at [email protected]."
We have updated the story to reflect the fact the studio is not closing.