Turbine hires new talent, lays off workers

It’s been a confusing couple of weeks for Turbine Games, with some big-name hires jumping onboard last week, and a chunk of layoffs taking place this week. Despite all that, parent company Warner Bros says things are all okay at the Lord of the Rings Online developer.

[img_big]center,3382,2012-03-08/gaikai___wbie_image.jpg,Lord of the Rings Online[/img_big]

Starting at the beginning, Turbine Games can now claim Ken Rolston among its flock – the veteran designer most recently known for his work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, with a work history also including the Elder Scrolls series. He steps up as design director at the studio, and will be joined by NetherRealm‘s Alan Villani working on online engagement and monetisation, Zynga‘s Jai Singh in the technology infrastructure department, and Demetrius Comes (formerly of Petroglyph Games) joins as executive director of engineering.

In a statement, it’s explained that the move will help Turbine “design and deploy the next generation of online gaming”.

However. As a door opens, a window closes, or something along those lines: An undisclosed number of layoffs have just hit the developer. Warner Bros explains:

As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our Turbine workforce. The group continues to remain an integral part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The news is sure to hit the Boston area game community hard, coming just two days after Zynga axed 50 jobs when it closed its Cambridge-based studio amid dismal financial reports.

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