Happy Feet 2 Studio KMM Closing
Only a week after LA Noire developer Team Bondi officially closed its doors, fellow Australian studio and Happy Feet 2 developer KMM Brisbane have announced they have shut down, making them the latest casualty in a slew of recent Australian studio closures that also includes EA’s Visceral Games and THQ’s Blue Tongue and THQ Brisbane.
The Brisbane-based studio was working on a console accompaniment to the forthcoming animated film Happy Feet Two, out in mid-November, when layoffs began at the start of this month. In August were reports that KMM would be taking hold of Team Bondi’s assets and acquiring much of its staff, including studio head Brendan McNamara, but evidently those plans did not come to fruition.
Speaking to ABC, KMM’s lead art director Jason Stark cited the strength of the Australian dollar and the lack of government subsidies as the main reasons for Australia’s shrinking game industry.
“With the dollar currently above the US, it’s now more expensive to make a video game here than what an American publisher considers locally,” he said.
He continued: “the sort of middle-ground products, which a lot of local developers specialise in, that were movie-licensed titles that were low to average budget, have since proven to be just not viable from a business point of view.”
“People are either buying AAA games or they’re buying $2 games on their iPhone. They’re not really interested in a $60 ‘meh’ game.”
Like other recently laid off developers, Stark now intends to develop mobile games independently.
Gamasutra [Happy Feet Two Dev KMM Brisbane Shuts Down]