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Game maker Spectrum lays off more than 60

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Spectrum Holobyte Inc., which has been swamped with red ink since buying Hunt Valley-based MicroProse Inc. in 1993, cut its work force by more than 60 workers, or 15 percent, company officials said yesterday.

The Alameda, Calif.-based computer game maker said it cut its staff to below 400 workers and slashed the number of games it plans to produce this year from 50 to 29 in an effort to reduce its costs and improve its chances of turning a profit this year.

Richard Gelhaus, the company's senior vice president for finance, said every Spectrum office and division was affected by the layoffs. Spectrum's Hunt Valley division, the former MicroProse, has about 130 employees. Some affected Hunt Valley employees, however, will get jobs in Spectrum's newly formed joint venture with Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

Last month, the two companies announced they were forming a 20-employee Hunt Valley company to produce and market sports-oriented computer games.

The employees were notified of the layoffs Thursday, as the company also announced it lost $14 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended March 31, far worse than last year's $5.6 million loss, and worse than most analysts had expected. The company blamed the loss on delays that have prevented it from shipping its much-anticipated Star Trek game.

tTC

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