When the Wildman Kickstarter launched last week, Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor said that he was gambling the company on the success of the crowd-funding venture. Now the developer has confirmed massive layoffs Friday and Taylor is asking fans if the Kickstarter campaign should continue.
Taylor said that the decision to layoff employees now was made to ensure that everyone received severance pay and benefits in a video update on Kickstarter. If the staff had been kept on and the Wildman $1.1 million funding campaign failed, there would have been no pay for anyone.
The number of employees laid off has not been confirmed by Gas Powered Games but Joystiq is reporting that 40 people have been laid off while Kotaku says that everyone has been let go except Taylor and a couple of others. Meanwhile, Taylor told Gamasutra, “The studio is still operating, but we had to slim WAY down to conserve cash reserves.”
Taylor is now asking the community if the Wildman Kickstarter should be continued or should he go ahead and end it. Votes will be tabulated by responses in the comment section to the update. Many are already showing support the project while some are calling the layoffs and Taylor’s statement a PR stunt.
Prior to this update, Taylor showed off some of the first gameplay footage of Wildman in action on Thursday. What was shown is a cartoony take on the MOBA-genre for the Warzone section of the game. It will also have an overworld which is described as Diablo-esque where players can explore and gain loot.
Wildman currently reached just over $217,000 of its $1.1 million goal after four days. There are 27 days remaining in the funding campaign.