Interplay Fires 'Klingon Academy' Development Team

By Christian
July 24, 2000 - 1:17 AM

A Talent For War is reporting that many of the team members who developed Interplay's 'Klingon Academy', including Producer Raphael Hernandez, artist Manuel Salazar and designer Brent Kollmansberger have been let go by the company, only a few weeks after the game's release. Below are quotes from posts made by the first two to the official 'Klingon Academy' message boards:

Salazar: Whelp, it looks like interplay lowerd the boom on us today. Many of the KA development team and other 14degrees east employees were layed off this afternoon. I don't think that I should mention who they are, that's up to them to decide.

I really enjoyed having this forum for feedback over the course of the 3 years that I've been on the project. Its obvious that many of you are truly impassioned about star trek and desire a video game experience to match. We made every attempt to make this happen, and treated every decision with the utmost respect. It is my regret that things that many of you desired have been out of my control. After today's events, its obvious that perhaps I was a bit foolish to believe that was the case. Every attempt by the art team (myself and Perry Scalf)has been to make KA live up to its cinematic counterparts and expand the star trek universe in a logical and respectful manner.

Hernandez: I know that a lot of you are very upset and frustrated that Klingon Academy does not have all of the features and support one would expect from a game of this magnitude. To be honest, no one on the development team has ever been happy with the compromises we have had to make. But I can also tell you that everyone on the team has put their hearts and souls into this game, and, despite many obstacles and limitations, we have created a star trek starship simulation that is fun, full of depth, and unlike any other in the market-place.

I wish we could have delivered exactly the game all of you have asked for, in every aspect, and bug-free, but we did the best that could have been done under the given circumstances, and, I believe, we still made a great game, despite its shortcomings

Salazar's full post can be found here, and Hernandez' full post here. A Talent for War is also reporting that Ron Hodge, one of the 'Klingon Academy' designers who spent a lot of time communicating with the fans on the forums, has also been let go by Interplay. The members of the team who are able to remain at Interplay will be spread over other projects, or transferred to different divisions.

Over the past few years, Interplay has not been doing too wel financially. Despite best-sellers such as 'Baldur's Gate' and Trek title 'Starfleet Command', the company posted a loss last year, and this also led to the cancellation of the promising 'Secret of Vulcan Fury' game. It seems likely these lay-offs are a result of this.

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