Updated / NetDevil “on the brink” of closure

Update: An update from Netdevil parent Gazillion Entertainment brings some clarity. The company says it’s agreed to sell its development stake in LEGO Universe to the LEGO Group, with most of the people who worked on the game at NetDevil receiving offers to make the jump as well.

As for Gazillion; “The transition of members of our team to the LEGO Group enables us to focus completely on internally-published, free-to-play game businesses,” according to president and COO David Brevik.

Original story: Lego Universe developer NetDevil seems to be the next in line to suffer layoffs, and its future existence might just be in jeopardy. According to employees – and former ones, apparently – the company is “on the brink” of closure as a large portion of the staff received calls overnight from management and being informed of their redundancy. Numerous people affected by the situation have even posted images of a tombstone with “NetDevil R.I.P” engraved on it.

Animator on Lego Universe Toby Cochran wrote on his blog about the situation, saying “unfortunately a lot of talented folks lost their jobs as I’ve been finding out on Facebook! I personally think it’s pretty terrible to find news out that way and not to be correctly notified.”

Cochran added, “from what we’ve been told a handful of artists will be kept on board and continue working on Lego Universe. But at the moment that will be a very, VERY small team. As the count continues to rise on FB, they’ve cut over 20 people.”