145 people without work after Yaletown's United Front Games shuts down

Oct 21 2016, 10:05 pm

One of Vancouver’s largest and few remaining independent game development studios has shut down, leaving 145 employees suddenly unemployed.

Yaletown’s United Front Games (UFG) ceased its operations earlier this week, according to a source who requested anonymity. The studio, founded in 2007 by former developers from other local studios such as Electronic Arts and Rockstar Games, was one of the largest homegrown successes in Vancouver’s tech ecosystem.

The decision to close its doors came just days after the company released its online player-versus-player Smash + Grab game. It is best known for its 2012 production of the Sleeping Dogs game on PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360.

UFG has also worked on a number of projects for other studios, including Microsoft Studio’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider 2013, and Disney for Disney Infinity 3.0.

However, given the shortage of local talent, many of the employees will likely find new positions with other local tech firms soon.

Last night, approximately two dozen recruiters were present at a last-minute job fair hosted by Blackbird Interactive, another local independent game development studio, to hire ex-UFG staff.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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