Gas Powered Games Hit By Layoffs Mere Days After ‘Wildman’ Kickstarter Campaign Launch

The game may still be made if the Kickstarter is successful.

Sources revealed to Kotaku earlier today that Gas Powered Games, the folks behind the upcoming RTS ARPG Wildman, have issued massive lay offs within the company, only four days into their $1.1 million Kickstarter campaign. About forty people were let go, save for "one or two people", due to funding problems. CEO Chris Taylor, who told Joystiq the timing of the decision was necessary so the company could still provide severance and remaining paid time off, says:

"I think everyone agrees better to have a few bucks to find the next job that run this train to the end and have nothing left to work with. It's one thing for me to bet the company, but I can't bet their last severance money, that's not cool,"

The "bet the company" references comments he made to GamaSutra recently, revealing that Taylor was betting the future of the company on their Kickstarter campaign, which has raised $176,000 in its few days of existence. Taylor, for his part, seems truly broken up by the decision. In a video update to the original Kickstarter page, Taylor tearfully says "I really, really felt like it was a crazy idea to gamble, in this economy, …with the people here who are the most talented and loyal people…", trailing off and choking up before continuing, "…to play a card game with their livelihoods is not smart."

In the same video, Taylor asks the community to help him decide on whether or not to continue the Kickstarter campaign, saying to "vote with your comments" so he can tabulate them and make the call. If the campaign raises all its necessary funds, there's a chance he could hire back some of the old team, provided they don't already have jobs. Personally, I think it should stay up because the game looks interesting and, if the funding is successful, would enable 40 less people to be looking for jobs in the Redmond, WA area. With 26 days left on the Kickstarter campaign but over three quarters of a million dollars to go, is it possible? Perhaps if the sympathy money starts rolling in.