We're exactly one week away from the Valentine's Day release of Eat Sleep Play's revamped take on Twisted Metal, the first entry in the car combat series to hit the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, it's not all good news for the Utah-based developer. A report in The Salt Lake City Tribune (via Joystiq) confirms that the studio has been hit with layoffs and, even more troublingly, that Jaffe may soon be leaving as well.
Eat Sleep Play co-founder and Twisted Metal co-creator told the Tribune that he is expecting Jaffe to leave to pursue casual game development. "He's excited to go into the casual space as well," Campbell said. "He's got some projects that he's excited about. So we're kind of going down two separate paths." The layoffs and Jaffe departure also signal a change for Eat Sleep Play, which will refocus its work on mobile games.
"It’s a platform that is in our pockets almost 24/7. It’s kind of the size and types of games we’re playing," Campbell said. "You can certainly reach a lot more people. That’s pretty exciting for us."
All of this comes in the wake of eight employees being laid off last week, bringing the studio's total worker count down to 26. There's no word from Eat Sleep Play yet on what's next after Twisted Metal beyond the nebulous "mobile games" refocusing, but Jaffe offered a comment of his own on Twitter.
He neither confirms nor denies plans to move on from Eat Sleep Play after Twisted Metal's release, commenting instead of reports that he's making a move toward the casual. "The rumors of me making casual games post TM- as many of you define them- are highly exaggerated," he tweeted late last night.
"As many of you define them." What would you say he means by that? Don't forget that Jaffe made the PSN game Calling All Cars and the highly underrated PlayStation 2-era future city racer Kinetica. Not exactly the definition of "casual" games, but they're certainly more straightforward and easy to grasp for gaming neophytes than games like Twisted Metal and God of War.