This explain a lot of the failure
Civilization V developer Firaxis loses 20 staff
Sean Ridgeley - Friday, July 9, 2010 6:01pm (PST) 0 Favourite (0)
Could mean trouble
Approximately 20 staffers at Civilization V developer Firaxis have been laid off, and word is they come from multiple aspects of the team, including quality assurance, user interface art, animation, programming, and design.
"I can confirm that Firaxis has realigned its development resources in order to streamline its development process, reduce costs and maximize the overall performance the studio," 2K's global public relations director Markus Wilding said. "This will result in the elimination of approximately 20 positions. These reductions will not impact Firaxis' ability to create and deliver AAA titles, including its forthcoming Sid Meier's Civilization V and Sid Meier's Civilization Network for Facebook."
It's also said Civilizaton IV producer Jesse Smith was laid off in the middle of working on a secret project.
Granted, Civ5 is coming out in a couple of months and lay-offs are standard in the game industry following a big project. However, Mass Effect 2's lead gameplay designer Christina Norman commented on Twitter that "laying off QA is a bad sign." This is about the time staff is ironing out bugs and the like, so it could affect the game's level of polish, and certainly post-release support.
This is very old news, and was discussed to death. Firaxis still has QA, as does 2K.