In the past few years, layoffs in the video game industry have unfortunately become more common. And in 2023 we saw Layoffs are almost weekly across the industry. When the dust settled, in the least 6,000 jobs were created for publishers, developers and other video game-related companies. Sadly, it looks like 2024 will surpass that, if the first few weeks of the year are any indication.
Most people didn’t expect 2024 to be much better, but I’m not sure anyone was prepared for it to be worse — and yet this year has begun with a series of layoffs large and small, suggesting that corporate bloodletting rituals are anything but. It doesn’t end anytime soon. So Kotaku We will try to track all 2024 layoffs as they happen. Hopefully we won’t have to update this post too often.
Architect – unknown
On January 4, 2024, The first round of video game layoffs (that we know of) occurred at virtual reality game developer Archiact. The company known as Death 3 The VR port company announced on social media that it has laid off an unspecified number of employees.
“We are working with these individuals to make up for this difficult transition as much as possible, including through reverse recruiting,” the studio said in its announcement post.
Bossa Studios – 19 people
This technically happened in late 2023, but was reported and confirmed on January 5, 2024. according to Gameindustry.biz, 19 people were cut from the studio. The layoffs were mostly related to quality assurance and production roles as well as some non-UK staff.
Unity Program – 1,800 people
On January 8, 2024, Reuters It has announced its first massive round of layoffs of the year as Unity has confirmed it is planning It has cut approximately 25% of its staff as part of an ongoing “reset.” In the company. This is said to be the largest round of layoffs in the software company’s history and will be completed by the end of March.
Pickpocket – 500 people
On January 9, 2024, Bloomberg mentioned That Twitch was preparing to lay off 500 employees by the end of January. This represents approximately 35% of its total employees. Video game streaming site formerly owned by Amazon Hundreds of employees were laid off last year In March and later in October.
Platika – 300-400 people
As reported CTech On January 11, 2024Mobile game publisher and developer Playtika plans to lay off up to 400 employees, or about 10% of the company’s total workforce. Playtika previously laid off 900 employees in 2022. In 2023, the company agreed to pay up to 300 million dollars To acquire Innplay Labs, another mobile developer.
Discord – 170 people
the edge It was published on January 11, 2024 Popular video game chatbot developer Discord was planning to lay off about 17% of the company’s total employees. The layoffs were announced in an all-hands meeting and an internal memo obtained by the edge. CEO Jason Citron explained in the memo that the company has grown “rapidly” since 2020 and has taken on a lot of projects.
“Today, we are increasingly clear about the need to sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to achieve more Agility “For our organization,” Citron told employees in the memo. “This is largely what drove the decision to downsize our workforce.”
Lost Boys Interactive – Unknown
On January 12, After the disaster mentioned An unknown number of employees have been laid off at Lost Boys Interactive, which is owned by Gearbox.
“It appears that a large portion of Lost Boys Interactive has been laid off today, myself included,” wrote Jared Pace, a producer at the studio. On LinkedIn. Pace reportedly said After the disaster The layoffs “affected all specialties at all levels.”
Funselektor – 3 people
Independent Canadian studio Beyond The art of assembly It announced on January 12 that three developers had been laid off.
“Unfortunately, we have had to make some positions redundant in Funselektor,” The studio founder tweeted Sand dunes. “We would love to help them find work in the video games industry, so we recommend these amazing Australians: @AdrianGenerator, @PezzleSp, @h4ypal.”
As of January 11, 2024, at least 2,792 people have been (or will be) laid off this year.
The video game industry is larger and generates more money than movies and music combined, making it more profitable $180 billion in 2021 alone. It’s also an industry that becomes riskier and more expensive every year AAA games take longer And Cost more to makeWhich leads to a situation where a single failure can sink a studio or publisher. And the whole industry is there too Urgent need for Unions to help protect millions of workers when things don’t go as planned.
Until then, corporate greed, industry consolidation, and poor leadership will likely continue to cost thousands of people their jobs as we saw with Twitch and Unity.