'Starhawk' developer LightBox Interactive hit with layoffs, moving from console development to iOS

Polygon writes: "LightBox Interactive, the Austin-based developer behind PlayStation 3 game Starhawk, has laid off 24 of its employees, studio founder and president Dylan Jobe tells Polygon. The layoffs are part of a "shift in product strategy" at LightBox, Jobe says, which includes a move away from traditional console development."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
ChunkyLover531825d ago

That is too bad, always sad to see people laid off, and its even worse when a decent console game developer switches to IOS development.

Starhawk was fun, had zero advertising and deserved better. Hope those guys find work soon.

hkgamer1825d ago

Agree. Starhawk was promoted a little by Sony, but when it came out I didn't even know about it.

It's also very sad to see game studios laying people off and going the iOS route. Actually it feels a little strange that these studios go the iOS route when they probably know nothing about making games for the mass public.

iOS is not about making great games, its more about making attractive games that go viral.

ikkokucrisis1825d ago

Hmm, I was planning to buy the Multi-player component after playing the Single Player free on Plus+ later this month (because of the spend $100 get $20 back sale on PSN).

If LB is not going to do any more PS3 work are they gonna drop support for the *Hawk games as well?

DeforMAKulizer1825d ago

Sony said that Sony Santa Monica will continue the support for the game.

yesmynameissumo1825d ago

I think marketing is the Bane to Sony's Batman. It's breaking its back by not promoting...well, anything. It's shit like this that makes me convinced Insomniac's decision to go 3rd party was in the best interest of the studio. Look at Resistance 3. One of the best, if not THE best, shooter of 2011 and Sony barely promoted it. They set good and great games up to fail. I love PlayStation and the games the 1st parties put out, that's why I'm so critical. It's great to have "all these exclusives" but what's the point if 2 or 3 are marketed?

blue_cheese1825d ago

like i've been saying although Sony has far more, and sometimes far better exclusive games; when it comes for these games to actually sell, these games fall flat on their face. if resistance 3 had been a third party title it would have sold a lot better on the xbox360 and would have brought more support to these games. i still feel that a lot of sony's exclusive developers should go multiplatform, its only hurting them.

yesmynameissumo1825d ago

I don't think R3 would have been an insta-buy on the 360. The flip side to that coin is this also happens on the 360, only not as often, because their aren't a lot (comparatively) of exclusives coming from 1st party studios. Forza isn't a massive seller. Fable isn't. Kinect games haven't been. They all just have commercials and ads to at least make people AWARE the damn games exist. The results have been doing well enough for sequels to be made.

ChronoJoe1825d ago

You do actually realise that Sony's exclusive developers are contracted and paid a salary? Regardless of the success of their product.

Futhermore, most are first party. Only Insomniac and one or two others are '2nd party' (which is technically just third). For most of the studio it's insignificant if EA or Sony are effectively paying their wages, they just need to get decent contracts in. Sony probably weren't willing to support Insomniac / Resistance, as much as previously based on the underperformance of their more recent games, hence Insomniacs move.

Whilst I don't disagree with the idea that most developers would be more successful as third party, pretty much all would, even Microsofts - you seem to missunderstand why developers produce games exclusively or one platform in the first place. It's not because they believe their dependent on sales figures and believe that doing so will sell their game better, any third party dev that produces a game exclusively for one platform has a heap load of financial support that they wouldn't otherwise get.

In this case, you cry about this studio failing and collapsing, the reality is. It was a studio brought together to produce one of Sony's intellectual properties. It would not have existed without Sony's intellectual / financial backing so naturally layoffs after the deliverable for the project they were contracted for, were delivered... were inevitable.

BattleAxe1825d ago (Edited 1825d ago )

Resistance 3 killed itself. While it had a great single player campaign, the multiplayer was the worst in the series. They went from 8 Player Co-op with matchmaking in Resistance 2, down to 2 player co-op without matchmaking in Resistance 3. They went from 40 player matches in Resistance: Fall of Man and 60 player matches in Resistance 2 all the way down to 16 player matches in Resistance 3. Can you see the difference? Any true fan of the series knows these facts.

With Starhawk, they apparently didn't do a very good job with the single player campaign, but the online portion is alot of fun. I didn't bother to buy Starhawk at launch, but I just bought the Mulitplayer Edition when it released as a stand alone game around two weeks ago, and it was money well spent. With Warhawk, they had to deal with the fact that there wasn't a very big install base on the PS3 when this game released. I would say that their lack of success comes from poor timing for Warhawk, and producing a game where only 50% of it was good with Starhawk. Switching to IOS development won't help them at all.

Blankman851825d ago

Sumo, Fable 2 and 3 sold over 5 million each, so did Forza 3. Forza 2 sold over 4 million. Granted these are VGChartz numbers, but still.
You could have picked Viva pinata, Alan Wake, Crackdown or something. Also, Dance Central and Kinect Sports both sold over 3 million.

smashcrashbash1825d ago

You just babble the same thing every ignorant fanboy says all the time. You pretend that every game on the 360 get the attention it deserves and always think that every game on then PS3 would be better received on the 360. What about all the failed games that are on the 360? What happened to those. Do you pretend they don't exist or something? And what about all the Kinect games that fall flat on their face? They had commercials but barely sold even close the number of people that own a Kinect system. No one receives anything better on any system. They all have their sellers and their not so good sellers.Stop repeating the same BS every time. you can't just make such a general statement. Resistance could have sold even less on the 360 for all you know.StarHawk could have been ignored completely.

neoMAXMLC1825d ago

Yeah, and Alan Wake would have done better on the PS3. So would Forza.

This myth that games always do better on the 360 is absolute bullcrap.

trouble_bubble1825d ago (Edited 1825d ago )

Ndvihu...NO FABLE GAME has sold over 5 million according to YOUR source...vgchartz .

Forza 2 hasn't passed 4 mil' either according to YOUR source, nor has any Dance Central game passed your claim of 3 mil' .

What's your angle? Didn't think someone would check or what? Dear gawd man, Sumo never even tracked . Wow lmao

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1825d ago
Ben_Grimm1825d ago

People really need to stop with the "Sony doesn't promote" hard enough excuse. Sony put out dozens of commercials for R3, billboards and ads everywhere. I saw commercial spots for Starhawk and ads at local gamestops and other stores that carry electronics. The fact is as good as these games were the interests in them are low.

People keep saying that Sony has all these great IP's, but if the interest isn't there then what good are they? I loved Warhawk but I never got a chance to play Starhawk only because at the time there were other games that sparked my interest more. The same could be said for me and Twisted Metal.

Here's hoping that these guys return to console game making, great talent like this belongs on a big screen not a small handheld device.

ginsunuva1825d ago

No. People ACTUALLY don't know about these games. Every time I mention any ps3 game to anyone I know, they've never heard of it in their lives. Ps3 owners are an older, more mature demographic who are more stingy when spending because their parents aren't buying their stuff anymore. And they don't have the social networking of younger kids and teens on wii and xbox, which is a major component of selling products - word of mouth.

maniacmayhem1825d ago


I'm going to have to STRONGLY disagree. Just because you may know people that don't know any PS3 games doesn't mean Sony doesn't promote. I know just as many people that do know PS3 games.

"Ps3 owners are an older, more mature demographic who are more stingy"

C'mon now, that is just a load of pure snob, BS. Being the more mature console doesn't stop CoD and other main stream games from being the number one franchises on both ps3 and 360.

If it were a true older demographic then they would be much more informed of ps3 releases due to internet news and other media outlets that older folks have more access too.

blue_cheese1825d ago

this brings me back to my point that although sony is a great company, some games like starhawk under preform on the console. whereas if this game would have been released on the xbox360, people would have bought this game in droves considering the audience of xbox360 doesn't have a game similar to this. these guys were great developers, hope the laid off find work in the future.

BigStef711825d ago

Not at all. If it isn't a big franchise like Halo Gears Fable or Forza then it doesn't sell well on 360.

blue_cheese1825d ago

false COD sells 2 to 1 on 360, im not a fanboy but third party games tend to sell a lot better on 360, i only plat my ps3 for exclusives.

xabmol1825d ago

Big states that if it is not a 'big franchise' then it will not sell well on the 360.

Then Blue say that CoD sells 2 to 1 on the 360 as if this is a counter argument.

Isn't that just saying the same exact thing that Big said? Is CoD not a big franchise now?! O.o

Jazz41081825d ago

How do u think these games like forza and halo and gears got started? They were new ips that were well recieved.

Ducky1825d ago (Edited 1825d ago )

One of the few developers that actually made multiplayer games that went beyond the cookie-cutter experience and yet it falters.

You'd think with all the people that complain about online shooters all being casual and generic, Starhawk would've done better. Sadly most big publishers will just see this as another reason to play it safe.

PinkFunk1825d ago

I absolutely loved Starhawk. If I still had my PS3 (I moved to the UK, couldn't take it with me), I'd be playing the sh*t out of it right now.

I remember playing the beta and thinking, 'my goodness, they've changed everything, this is potentially going to be a massive hit'. I wish they had sold more... because I thought it was freakin' brilliant.

Show all comments (59)
The story is too old to be commented.