In response to previously unknown plans at Atari to lay off approximately 51 of Eden Games' 80 total employees, the Test Drive Unlimited
developer is staging a "Symbolic Day Strike" today. A statement sent to Gamasutra
from an unnamed Eden Games employee explains the act as a response to what the studio believes is "mismanagement" on the part of its parent company and publisher, Atari, and an effort to engage Atari president Jim Wilson directly. The Eden Games message claims that Wilson has "never introduced himself to his employees."
The proposed cuts at Eden, said to be taking place this coming June, are supposedly the result of a change in Atari's focus, as it moves away from packaged retail goods and towards MMOs and games with online-based business models. Eden Games' latest projects -- the Test Drive Unlimited
series and Alone in the Dark
-- have all been retail-centric, potentially spurring the decision by Atari to cut staff at the studio.
An Eden employee clarified that the strike was in direct response to stalled negotiations with Atari, and said that Eden "didn't receive at this time any information or feedback from Atari management." The representative also noted that internal projections put the studio's latest effort, Test Drive Unlimited 2
, at around 900K units sold to date.