This wasn't unexpected at all - I was actually surprised it took as long as it did. This also hasn't been caused by a lack of health in the company, which is the usual cause of layoffs, with the company doing poorly and having to lay people off to reduce bloat and save capital.
You see, the company's MO is to buy games that other companies no longer want, get them viable again so that they will continue to operate profitably for a couple of years, then move them to our overseas studios so that they don't cost as much to maintain. The idea is that if they continue to successfully buy new games, the existing studios will always have a new game coming in as old games are going out. The problem is that sometimes there aren't new games coming in, and when that happens, they can't continue to employ the idle people.
The company's been very open and straightforward about this, and it tries its damnedest to keep talented people. Rather than the usual layoff process, which, if you're lucky, gives you two weeks of notice and then you're out the door, my company has given us notice two months in advance. There's a severance package, which we get whether we stay the whole two months or we choose to leave early. And, if a project comes in during the two months that needs our skills, then we get to stay. We really couldn't ask for more.
Like I said, we knew this was coming - we've been working for the past two months to get our two projects sent to the overseas teams by the end of March, and nothing new was coming in, so this was going to happen, no other choice. I was certainly going to be first on the chopping block - I'm a product manager, and if there's no product, then there's nothing to manage. I can't say I'm unhappy about this. Yes, I like the company (it really takes care of its people), but, to be honest, I'm happy for the chance at a break, to have for a little while some life other than working. But, of course, I'll be starting to look for work now anyway. I can't not, you know?
In other news, we started watching Torchwood, finally.
We've seen, I think, the first five episodes, up through the one about the fairies. I'm enjoying it, but it really hasn't gripped me like other shows have. It's definitely making an effort to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that it's for adults - the episode about the sex alien made that point clearly. However, it's sloppy in execution, which negatively impacts its believability. For example, it's clear from the very beginning that Gwen is a trained policewoman thrown into this world of aliens, and so we completely expect her to be scared of what she's seeing and to question Jack's decisions and motives. However, the other team members - Tosh, Owen, and Ianto - have been around for a while and are supposed to be Jack's crack team. When they are confronted with Ianto's Cyberman girlfriend, they fall apart. Ianto, being the focus of the episode and in love with the girl, is understandable, but Owen and Tosh both are terrified and panic as they're being attacked. There's no feeling that these are Jack's crack troops, or that they work together well as a team at all.
It definitely feels like the show, in its first five episodes, is still trying to find its feet. It's trying to build an air of mystery around Jack, which might be more effective if I didn't already know what's up with him. I'm enjoying the stories, and especially liked the last one (the fairies), though the addition of the character of Estelle seemed almost an afterthought, like they needed to fill ten minutes of screen time and decided this would be a good way to do it while also showing that Jack is temporally immortal.
In a way, I feel like they looked at Doctor Who and decided to build an adult version same show by taking the character of the Doctor and breaking him up, into the leader with the wisdom and vision that no one else can fathom (Jack), the savvy tech (Tosh) and the fighter (Owen), and then giving him a companion to reign him in (Gwen). Ianto is still too nebulous to figure out where he fits in.
All in all, I like the show and am enjoying the stories. I'm looking forward to watching all the way through "Children of Earth" over the next few weeks. Not sure if we're going to watch "Miracle Day", as we've been told to stay away; on the other hand, we've been told to stay away from "Children of Earth" as well, so who knows?