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EA shutters another Oz studio

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Visceral, contributor to games like Dead Space and Dante’s Inferno, has followed Team Bondi and two THQ studios into the void with the loss of 21 jobs.

The studio’s owner, Electronic Arts, is yet to make a statement on the closure.

Australia’s rising dollar has crimped international developers’ operations down under by lifting staff costs in North Pacific peso US dollar terms. The shut-downs will also dent hubris in the Australian game industry in general, which has over some years lifted its profile and won friends in government. The Victorian state government, in particular, was a long-time friend to games developers, partnering in industry developments, skills and training programmes.

Earlier this month, Team Bondi was put into the hands of administrators Frasers Insolvency Advisory and a creditors’ meeting held on September 2nd. There has been no word yet on whether the LA Noire creator can be rescued or sold.

The US games industry still seems to like Australian properties, with EA buying Firemint back in May; it's just the AUD-denominated salaries they don't like.

The THQ studios, which also closed earlier this month, were working on a game to accompany the movie The Avengers. THQ said at the time it was moving away from movie-based games. In what could be a spot of developer revenge, what looks like a promo for the game has been posted on YouTube. ®

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