2K takes knife to Civilization V studio

Just a couple of months before Civilization V is set to take over the lives of turn-based strategy enthusiasts, 2K games has handed out pink slips to a good chunk of workers at the game's studio.

After swallowing a marketing jargon handbook, 2K's global public relations director Markus Wilding told gaming site Kotaku: "Firaxis has realigned its development resources in order to streamline its development process, reduce costs and maximise the overall performance the studio."

That's basically PR speak for: "We laid off a load of guys to save money."

According to Wilding, around 20 people are facing redundancy, which is approximately a sixth of the studio's workforce. Kotaku also reports that producer of Civilization III and Civilization IV Jesse Smith was let go last month. Wilding claims the cuts won't affect the studio's ability to finish Civilization V, which suggests most of the game is finished, and 2K decided to lay off the staff that were no longer needed to finish it off.

In a spectacular piece of bad timing, we also received a press release from 2K today, telling us about a "Behind the Scenes at Firaxis on Civilization V" DVD that will come in the Civilizaton V Special Edition. We're guessing this was all shot before anyone knew they were for the chop.

Civilization V us due to be released on 24 September this year, promising improved graphics, hexagonal tiles and an end to the unit-stacking system that sometimes resulted in tanks being destroyed by medieval units. Let's hope the cuts don't affect the game's quality-control.