SPINNING WHEEL GOT TO GO ‘ROUND [Author: Arcadian Del Sol]

First, Vivendi aimed and fired the following email to the Vivendi staffers who were not, as of last night, locked out of their offices…

—– Original Message —–

From: “****** *********”


Sent: Monday, August 13, 2001 8:47 PM

Subject: Sierra/dynamix

To All Sierra in Bellevue,

As you may have heard or read by now, we closed the Dynamix facility today in order to consolidate product development and marketing functions. Management of the Tribes franchise, including the Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 Master Servers and Dynamix IRC, will move to our facilities here in Bellevue and will continue uninterrupted.

So that everyone will have an opportunity to be comfortably seated and to hear what is being said, we will be hosting two town hall meetings tomorrow morning in the 2nd floor training room. The first meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 AM and will include all departments except QA, Tech Support and SierraHome. The second town hall meeting in the same room will start at 9:30 A.M. for QA, Tech Support, and SierraHome.

Please be on time as we have a lot to cover.

Thank you.

So Tribes marches ever onward, for those of you who were concerned about that particular franchise. As you can see, no word on Middle Earth.

Next we have the email issued to folks on the Press Release mailing list. Let’s get out our red pencils and compare…

Bellevue, WA – August 14, 2001

Sierra On-Line, a studio of Vivendi Universal Publishing (VU Publishing), announced today a strategic reorganization that will improve operating efficiencies through the consolidation of non-developmental functions. Within the new

organization, Sierra will focus on product development and brand management and more closely mirror the operating structures of other VU Publishing studios Blizzard Entertainment and Universal Interactive Studios. “This reorganization creates a more efficient operating model,” said Sierra President Michael Ryder. “It also allows Sierra to focus on what we do best — creating and growing some of the most successful and enduring brands in the business.”

Key elements of the Sierra reorganization include:

Non-Developmental Functions.

A number of key functional areas within Sierra’s Bellevue, WA headquarters will be consolidated and managed as corporate functions within VU Interactive Publishing. These moves will improve efficiency and allow VU Interactive Publishing to maximize

operating synergies across studios.

Product Development.

There will be several key changes within Sierra’s internal and external studios. Dynamix, based in Eugene, OR, will be closed and the development of key franchises including Tribes will move to Sierra’s Bellevue studio. The Bellevue studio will remain central to the new organization, and will, in addition to Tribes, be responsible for the best-selling SWAT and Hoyle franchises. Concord, MA-based Papyrus, which has a strong heritage in the development of racing games, will continue as a key studio, maintaining responsibility for the NASCAR franchise. Cambridge, MA-based Impressions, will remain a key development studio, responsible for a number of pre-eminent titles including the Ancient City Building series and Lords of the Realm.

Sierra Home.

The Sierra Home division, which produces a range of

cooking, gardening, genealogy, and publishing titles, will concentrate on the development of its print business. All other product categories will be divested. VU Interactive Publishing will retain Sierra’s best-selling Print Artist franchises, which will continue as an important part of the Sierra portfolio and be managed out of the Los Angeles office.

In total, 97 positions will be eliminated with the closing of Dynamix, and another 148 will be eliminated in Sierra’s Bellevue office. Approximately 20 positions will be transferred to VU Interactive Publishing’s Los

Angeles headquarters.

“While any reorganization involving staff reductions is difficult, there is no doubt that this is the right thing to do for the business,” said Sierra President Michael Ryder. “We are now in a strong position to forge ahead with our new and established franchises.”


Sierra On-Line, Inc. http://www.sierra.com, a studio of Vivendi Universal Publishing and part of its Games division, is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is renowned for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles that represent a wide variety of computer entertainment on both next generation console and PC platforms.

They have a way with words.

A lot of words.

So Dynamix is indeed gone, and Sierra has once again been massively reduced in size. I wonder whatever could have happened to this once great game company. I wonder where they went so very very wrong.

On a side note, if anyone is interested in learning more about the once great company called Sierra On-Line, check out this site.

And finally, no Sierra layoffs update would be complete without this funny jaunt down memory lane courtesy of the amazing talent that is Penny Arcade: