Aliens: Colonial Marines

The Xenomorph business isn’t as lucrative as it once was.

TimeGate Studios, one of the co-developers for Aliens: Colonial Marines, cut down its staff today, according to Polygon. The developer reportedly produced most of the single-player campaign in the much maligned first-person Aliens shooter before Gearbox Software, the headline studio, took the reins.

TimeGate president Adel Chaveleh explained the layoffs in a statement made to Polygon:

Today, we had to make the difficult decision to let go of some great game developers. This is never easy, and we’re doing all we can to assist those developers affected. TimeGate is preparing, as is the entire industry, for the transition to next-generation consoles and new business models. As part of this reinvention, all projects and strategic initiatives continue to move forward at the studio.

Chaveleh didn’t specify the number of people who lost their jobs, but rumors put the figure around two dozen.

TimeGate is a Houston-based developer founded in 1998. It released the real-time-strategy game Axis & Allies in 2004. It then worked on expansion content for publisher Vivendi Universal’s F.E.A.R. first-person shooter. In 2009, TimeGate debuted its own first-person shooter Section 8 for Xbox Live Arcade and PC. The company produced a sequel in 2011 called Section 8: Prejudice.

It’s still unclear exactly what TimeGate’s full involvement was in the development of Aliens: Colonial Marines. Gearbox was supposed to handle the bulk of the design on that game — but a common rumor claims that multiple other studios, including TimeGate, actually produced most of the work. Gearbox then crunched the game out to meet a final deadline from publisher Sega.

No matter how it happened, many of the studios involved with Aliens: Colonial Marines are now have somewhat tarnished brands.