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Gameloft India sackings decried as "fishy" and "shady"

Gameloft has reportedly shut down its India studio and laid off more than 250 game developers without notice.

Employees at the Hyderabad studio known as Gameloft India - one of 28 studios operated by Gameloft around the world - were "told to pack up and go home" on Tuesday afternoon following a meeting, Gamasutra reported. Earlier that same day, the company, which employs more than 5,000 people worldwide, reported 27 per cent sales growth for its fiscal 2012.

Gameloft, headquartered in San Francisco but traded on Europe's Euronext exchange, mainly develops "pocket game" titles based on popular existing games - like bringing Assassin's Creed to Apple's iOS devices - but also creates original games (see image, top) for Android and other mobile platforms, as well as for consoles, handhelds, and the Mac platform.

Asked about the Gamasutra report, a Gameloft spokesperson did not confirm or deny it but said that the company would "officially not be providing any comment at this time."

Gamasutra also reported allegations from unnamed sources with regards to the allegedly "fishy, shady" way in which the Hyderabad studio employees were let go.

"According to one source, employees were asked to sign two letters before leaving: a form saying they were leaving for personal reasons rather than being laid off (pre-dated from January 28) and an acceptance of resignation from Gameloft dated Tuesday, January 29. That source tells us that he and others have not signed the letters yet, describing them as 'fishy,'" the gaming site reported.

In 2011, a former head programmer at Gameloft's Auckland, New Zealand studio alleged that employees at Gameloft New Zealand were required to work 120-hour weeks and given false deadlines on projects to "make employees work faster and harder."