Bossa, the developer of Surgeon Simulator, suffers from a series of redundancy as co-founders are aiming for a new start for the studio in 2021.
Bossa confirmed to Eurogamer that initially 13 of the 85 strong London companies were at risk, but this number dropped to 10 and would be low by the end of the talks period. There is a possibility.
Eurogamer Bossa will suffer from many internal issues throughout 2020 as the company moves from home to work and crunches in the months leading up to the August release of the comedy physics game Surgeon Simulator 2, according to studio sources. I was there.
Surgeon Simulator 2 was released exclusively for the Epic Games Store, but couldn’t have the same impact as its predecessor, which was a 2013 Steam hit. However, in an interview with Eurogamer, Bossa co-founder Henrique Olifiers denied that the performance of Surgeon Simulator 2 had nothing to do with the round of redundancy. Rather, “it has to do with how we see the evolution of the game, and the abilities that are needed or not needed in that new situation.”
In a prepared statement, Bossa management acknowledged that some of the studios were dissatisfied with the company’s new direction.
“The other thing about the fundamental change is that not everyone agrees with it, and that’s okay,” reads the statement, “If we all agree with everything, the world Will be a much dull place. A few people are dissatisfied with these changes, but unfortunately there is little we can do but speak openly about our motives and help as much as possible. If they choose to do so, they have the right to feel and criticize their way of making these decisions. That’s our way. That’s exactly how things work. “
Surgeon Simulator 2 launched on a non-Epic platform in 2021 when Bossa’s exclusive contract with Epic expired, and Olifiers claimed that Bossa is still working on its release.
“We are still updating the game,” said Orifiers. “The team is working on it and we plan to release the game on three platforms next August, so we will continue to invest heavily in the game and continue the game. Anticipate if the game does not work as expected. Street, we put it all together and focus on something else. We’re not big enough to support the poorly performing ones. “
One bossa who asked for anonymity because he was not allowed to speak on record for the press described tensions over recent decisions and management’s involvement in day-to-day production.
According to Orifires, Bossa’s co-founder has always been involved in game production throughout the studio’s decade of history.
“We’re a small studio, aren’t we?” Said Orifires. “We’re no longer indie. 85 are pretty people. We’ve always been involved in game production. All our game ideas came from game jams, and everyone in the studio put them on. Participating in game jams to generate. Game ideas. You need to manage from the beginning. I’m a game designer, not a businessman. I’ve been a producer, coder, game designer, etc. And a team So does everyone else. Of course, sometimes there are creative differences, and as far as I know, I solve them in the best possible way.
“Teams usually have a lot of freedom to make decisions that they think are right. Traditionally, management, and by management, I talk about myself and the other three founders, and we I’m involved in every day of the game we play. “
Eurogamer understands that some Bossa people crunched, or worked longer than they should, during the two to three months before Surgeon Simulator 2 was launched in August 2020. This had a negative impact on the people involved.
Bossa’s QA team has been blamed for the crisis, Eurogamer said. This is partly due to the challenges faced by the Surgeon Simulator 2 4-player online multiplayer component (all Surgeon Simulator 2 campaigns can be played by up to 4 players). Multiplayer).
In our interview, the Orifiers confirmed that this crunch period happened in the studio-and confirmed that the QA was hit hard by it.
However, Olifiers argued that Bossa does not have a crunch policy and management does not require staff to crunch. He also argued that historically crunches did not happen in Bossa. But after the studio moved from home to work in March, things went out of control with Surgeon Simulator 2.
“We lost sight of some people spending extra time,” said Orifiers. “QA was widespread on the accepting side. [Surgeon Simulator 2] Is a multi-layer game, and there was a lot of demand for QA. So it’s no exaggeration to say that some surgeons worked too hard before the launch. I do not deny it. But we don’t ask people to do so. Sometimes it happens and I try to fix it after the fact like this time. “
Olifiers said Bossa asked the staff how many hours they had spent after the launch of Surgeon Simulator 2 in August and paid overtime or gave them time instead. Most people mixed both. Bossa keeps track of the time staff are spending to flag issues.
“But the fact that they did remains [crunch] And when some of these times turned out to be too much, the best thing we could do was look back and say, at least the extra time, money for what you put in here. Do it now, because of the rewards, and if you want to take the time to recover, “Olifires said.
“But I think we had to be more diligent when people pulled these times to find out, but since March things have changed a lot at our feet, especially when people aren’t. It’s very easy to take your eyes off the ball anymore around you.
“Much of our culture depends on the fact that we all work in the same place. We used to walk around, talk and know what was going on. Everything got much more complicated because I went. But it’s not. Policy. I don’t like crunches. I don’t like long hours. I don’t ask people to do that. But it’s until launch. Can happen to.
“We are not always right. The problem is that we try a lot to get everything we can do right. I risk people their work and life and their personal life. I don’t want you to be exposed to it, so we do the same as we do. People can understand it and save it. “
While Bossa is experiencing the current round of redundancy (mainly hitting QA and marketing), Olifiers said management is looking for a “new start” for the company in 2021. .. It’s a time of great change in the studio-two senior members, the number of staff who have recently left, and Bossa’s marketing efforts are being “restarted” by the publishing feature. Meanwhile, I Am Bread’s sequel, I Am Fish, is under development. And a brand new game is set to go live in February.
Bossa is currently rethinking game types, taking into account changing consumer trends and new industry platforms such as subscription services, according to Orifires.
“There are many changes in the gaming industry, many,” says Olifiers.
“I thought this would come to mind in 2022, maybe 2023, but it’s here now. There’s a game like Among Us that hasn’t changed anything in the last two years, but suddenly succeeds. The industry and the players have changed, not the games, so we are faced with this new reality that people want shorter experiences, more social experiences, and what we have built. Much was different. The future of successful games on systems such as Apple Arcade, Game Pass, and subscription services such as PlayStation Now is very different from what we’re currently building. Steam with a price tag. Just place it in.
“So we’re excited, especially thanks to the new game we’ll be making next year. I AmFish looks great. We’re still launching surgeons next year. And a new game will start in February. Are all very cool to us.
“Once we’ve done this transition and it’s in the right shape, we’ll literally talk in January from a new start perspective. I hope the new start is as good as we think. We never I don’t know. But the people inside are motivated. They are happy. But those who are affected by these changes are very personal that the best we can do is to support them. I’m experiencing that. “