Virtuos Studios  Appears to Close Its Subsidiary Calypte Launched in September 2022

Virtuos Studios seemingly has shut down Calypte a year after opening.

Virtuos Studios

Introduction about Virtuos Studios

With production studios in Canada, China, France, Ireland, Ukraine, the United States, and Vietnam, and operations in Korea and Japan, Virtuos is one of the largest content creators of video games and movies in the world. Since 2004, have been providing high-quality games and art to top developers and publishers, and are one of the most trustworthy partners in helping game creators make blockbuster games.

Virtuos Studios has shut down Calypte

Recently it seems that Virtuos Studios has shut down Calypte, a subsidiary based in San Francisco which had only been open since September 2022.

Posts on LinkedIn by former employees like creative director Sean Ainsworth and senior game designer Mark Vernon suggests that the studio had been closed. Other developers listed to be employed at Calypte now have “open to work” banners on their profiles, an indicator of looking for new jobs.

What Vernon notes in his post is that this is the “second time this year” he has been affected by layoffs driven by studio closure.

The video game industry would take another big hit because of such a shutdown, which hundreds if not thousands of jobs has been shed over the past few months. Companies such as Epic Games, Embracer Group, Activision Blizzard, Naughty Dog, Deck Nine Games have laid off thier employees in a series of restructuring and right-sizings.

In the meantime, some companies have been entirely closed their doors. Volition, Campfire Cabal, and Kiloo Games are among the companies which have closed their doors.

Why would Virtuos close down Calypte, one of Virtuos’ studios?

Shutdown of one of Virtuos’ studios still surprises the public even with the current tide of lay-offs. The company has opened studios around the world over the past few years, whose focus is to pursue stability on the basis of B2B operations. This is not a company which relies solely on game sales to bring in revenue.

There are two possible reasons for the closure after analysis: one is the high cost of hiring developers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the other is Virtuos’ expertise in fostering local talents in underrepresented (that is lower-cost) regions around the world.

Data provided by GlassDoor indicates that the average salary for software developers in the San Francisco Bay Area is about $133,000 each year. The cost of taxes, studio space and benefits will drive up the total number for each employee. However, this is in stark contrast to the case in Dublin, Ireland where its subsidiary Black Shamrock is headquartered. A software developer earn an average salary of about €65,000 which is equivalent to about $68,000 there.

It’s well worth mentioning that Virtuos said that flexible working would be supported in the studio when Calypte was launched, which means that employees could work anywhere. Therefore there is a possibility that some employees may not have been located in the San Francisco Bay Area and therefore not earn the annual salary in the Bay Area. This is an interesting fact

In early 2023, Virtuos chief revenue officer Jake DiGennaro told Game Developers that the company prides itself on developing local talents in countries which are not represented in the video game industry and helping prevent brain drain in local area which could impact local economies. But it is ironical that DeGennaro himself once headed a Virtuos subsidiary based in San Francisco.

Virtuos Studios

It still remains unclear whether Calypte had faced contract termination like Keywords Studios Edmonton and BioWare did or whether there are other factors leading to the shutdown of the subsidiary.

Game Developer contacted Virtuos for its comment and will update this story once the company responds.

Update: This story has been updated just to clarify Calypte current status as a remote-friendly studio.