The studio responsible for the Dead Rising series – which included development on Dead Rising 5 – has been shut down.
Capcom Vancouver employees received word on Tuesday that the studio was closing. A Capcom representative indicated that 158 people will lose their job due to the closing, with a skeleton crew remaining in place until January 2019, “to finalize closure operations and logistics.”
The official statement from Capcom indicates a concentration of development efforts in its Japan-based studios:
"Capcom has been focused on increasing the efficiency and growth of its game development operations. To support this objective, new R&D facilities and annual hiring have been underway at the Osaka headquarters. In consideration of this process, as a result of reviewing titles in development at Capcom Vancouver, Capcom has decided to cancel the development projects at this studio and will concentrate development of major titles in Japan."
Severance packages will be provided to the affected parties, resulting in a Capcom-loss of approximately 4.5 billion yen.
The news comes a mere seven months after the studio suffered a lay-off of roughly 30 percent of its workforce. Capcom had indicated that their Vancouver-based studio would continue supporting the mobile game, Puzzle Fighter, as well its “flagship Dead Rising series” … but clearly, that is no longer the case.
In fact, 2018 has been a bit of a confusing year for the direction of Capcom Vancouver. Industry veteran, Tim Bennison, was hired as the new studio director in the latter half of 2017, in an effort to grow the studio in addition to supporting Puzzle Fighter and – potentially – a new Dead Rising game, until layoffs occurred in February. In April, it was announced that Puzzle Fighter would be dropped to allow the studio to focus on Dead Rising 5, which was officially confirmed.
Now, it is unclear what the future holds for the Dead Rising franchise. However, it should be noted that the first Dead Rising was developed in Japan. With Capcom’s major titles now being moved to Japan for development, fans of the series may be able to hold onto a sliver of hope that Dead Rising 5 will still make its way to their screens.