Kerbal Space Program studio Squad suffers mass departures

KSP

Eight Kerbal Space Program developers just simultaneously announced their exit from developers Squad, sparking speculation that KSP has seen its last update in 1.2

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"All good things must come to an end, and so it is for us," said the developers in an update on the unofficial subreddit. "It is time for each of us to move on from Squad. Kerbal Space Program is an incredible game and has truly been a joy to create. We have greatly enjoyed working together with such a tightly-knit, professional, and talented development team, and with such a wonderful community.

"Over the last update cycle we’ve taken KSP to new heights and achieved great things with such a small team. We’ve finished work on update 1.2 and when Squad releases it, it will be a product of which we can be truly proud. We hope you share that opinion and we hope you enjoy playing it as much as we loved creating it. Thank you all for the incredible community support. So long, and thanks for all the snacks!

"Signed, in no particular order, your Kerbal developers Mike (Mu), Bill (Taniwha), Nathanael (NathanKell), Sébastien (Sarbian), Jim (Romfarer), Brian (Arsonide), Chris (Porkjet), Nathan (Claw)."

We reached out to a source close to Squad, who confirmed that this was the "vast majority of the team" and this latest departure leaves around two developers, a handful of QA staff and a small community team at Squad. "Management issues high up" and "unsustainable working conditions" are likely a factor in the announcement, our source says.

The departure of the eight developers was also posted to the official forums, but was taken down soon after. Our source suggests posts about the topic are being actively deleted.

At the time of writing, I couldn't see a single thread on the subject. Squad did just publish another announcement on the forums, however, but it doesn't mention the depatures at all. Instead it talks about the imminent release of the next big update, plans for the future and expanding the team. 

This latest news follows the high-profile departure of lead developer Felipe Falanghe, which itself came after another Squad employee blasted the company for bad working conditions. “Welcome to Squad; we pay you like shit, then fire you when your work is finished so we can just take it over and maintain it," they said. 

"In Squad we are very proud of having a very united team, committed to creating a high quality product, improving themselves as professionals, promoting and respecting the opinion of every member of the KSP community," Squad responded at the time.

"The comments made by those former team members does not reflect the reality of our company, but in Squad we will keep moving along with our commitment of respecting and listening to all of those who want to make constructive criticism about the company or KSP."

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DustyGerkin avatarTiberion1701 avatar
Tiberion1701 Avatar
5
7 Months ago

So.. a little more context for this, as a long time community member. These 8 devs are very much the core of the dev team. They're all remote "contractors" who aren't local to the Mexico City studio, and most of them were hired for their expertise shown as modders. Do note that modding in KSP is very programming heavy as its Unity-based and you have a lot of access to things via C#.

The public doesn't really know how much of a team exists locally in Mexico, but they have been hiring. In any event it does seem like most of the technical knowledge of the game goes out of the door with these 8 guys. Continued development of the same scale or quality seems pretty unlikely going forward.

A Squad PR person also released a statement about upcoming news and perhaps a big change. So it is possible that KSP is perhaps going the way of Prison Architect and ending primary development with the release of 1.2. If so, its bittersweet but perhaps not a terrible idea. They have really polished things up since the fairly "soft" launch of 1.0 and the end of Beta, and this is as close to a "definitive" version of KSP as we've had.

5
DustyGerkin Avatar
165
7 Months ago

Wow.

One way of voicing your displeasure.

4