Ben Cureton was one of Vigil's many employees that found themselves, in the wake of THQ's dissolution and fire sale, without a place to make video games today.
While much of THQ's assets were sold off to the highest bidder, Austin, Texas-based Vigil Games, the studio behind Darksiders and Darksiders 2, found itself without a buyer.
Cureton, the lead combat designer at Vigil Games, took to NeoGAF to sum up his feelings. You can read an excerpt below and the full, thoughtful, open letter on NeoGAF:
My name is Ben Cureton, and I was the Lead Combat Designer at Vigil Games. I'm sitting at my desk among... what appears to be a warzone. The walls look bare. It's quiet.
The seats are empty.
We've all been on edge for the past couple months... and more so, the last couple weeks. I mean, I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to wonder if you will have a job tomorrow. Most of us here joked about it just to keep the mood light, but we all knew what could happen. Now I look around and I realize... it did happen.
Am I sad? Well yea. I've been in this industry for 20 years. Seriously. Two decades. I've been laid off more than once. It sucks every time. But am I sad I don't have a job? Not really... I'm sure I'll get another one eventually. I'm sad because it won't be THIS job. It won't be at Vigil. That's why I'm sad. The people I waged war with are no longer together. The people that I bled with, vented with, argued with (often times LOUDLY), and kicked back with... these people will never be together again in the same combination.
Not that it was perfect. But what is perfect? Did I like coming to work? Yes. Was I proud of the work that I did? Yes. More importantly, was I proud of the work that WE did? Absolutely. I knew, without a shadow of the doubt, that the project we were working on (Codenamed: Crawler) was going to blow people away. In fact, it DID blow people away. We did, in TWO months, what many companies haven't done in a year. The pride of knowing that no one was doing anything like us was so satisfying, it kept us coming to work and giving 100% every single day, even through the dark times.
... so maybe you can imagine what it feels like when you read the list of who bought what only to discover your name is not on the list. Why? Did we do something wrong? Were we not good enough? Were we not worth 'anything?' Imagine that.
Vigil was filled with people that I would put up against the best in the industry. People that made my work better, people that made me a better designer, and people that made me a better person. And now they are gone.
Their seats are empty.