So I have a friend who used to work at HVS up until the layoffs. I chatted with him a bit on IM. Here were some key things he said:
1. Due to layoffs, the majority of everyone remaining are now crunching on Conduit 2.
2. Its possible that Grinder may not happen. There is no publisher currently that wants to pick it up.
3. The layoffs occurred because their were no more new projects coming in. Meaning no publishers wanting to invest in HVS.
While I am not a fan of HVS games, I feel for people that get laid off. I was laid off a few years back so it sucks. I think its great that HVS has been vigorously supporting the Wii. Unfortunately I have little faith that they are able to produce a quality product that will sell. Maybe Conduit 2 will be vastly better than the first. Maybe not.
Bottom line is that if you are a video game developing studio you need to produce top quality products that exceed the competition. Blaming how poorly a game sells because of reason A or reason B is a crutch. Hope HVS proves all us doubters wrong with Conduit 2.
And those that lost their job, good luck. Maybe this is another opportunity for you to work on that game you have always wanted.