Every Video Game Industry Layoff In 2024

Within the last few years, video game industry layoffs have unfortunately become more commonplace. In 2023, we saw near-weekly layoffs across the entire industry. When the dust had settled, at least 6,000 jobs across publishers, developers, and other video game-related companies had been terminated. Sadly, it appears 2024 will outpace that, if the first few weeks of the year are any indication.

Most folks didn’t expect 2024 to be much better, but I’m not sure anyone was ready for it to be possibly worse—yet this year has kicked off with a string of big and small layoffs signaling that the corporate bloodletting rituals aren’t ending anytime soon. So Kotaku is going to try and track all of 2024’s layoffs as they happen. Hopefully, we don’t have to update this post that much.

Archiact – Unknown

On January 4, 2024, the first round of video game layoffs (that we know of) happened at VR games developer Archiact. The company, known for its Doom 3 VR port, announced on social media that it had laid off an unspecified number of staff.

“We are working with these individuals to offset this difficult transition as much as possible, including through reverse recruiting,” said the studio 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 QA and production roles as well as some non-UK employees.

Unity Software – 1,800 people

On January 8, 2024, Reuters reported the first truly massive round of layoffs for the year as Unity confirmed that it planned to cut nearly 25% of its staff as part of a continued “reset” at the company. This is reportedly the largest round of layoffs in the software company’s history and it will be completed by the end of March.

Twitch – 500 people

On January 9, 2024, Bloomberg reported that Twitch was preparing to lay off 500 employees by the end of January. This is about 35% of its total staff. The Amazon-owned video game streaming website previously laid off hundreds of employees last year in March and later in October.

Playtika – 300-400 people

As reported by CTech on January 11, 2024, mobile 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 to acquire Innplay Labs, another mobile developer.

Discord – 170 people

The Verge reported on January 11, 2024 that popular video game chat software developer Discord was planning to lay off around 17% of the company’s total staff. The layoffs were announced in an all-hands meeting and an internal memo obtained by The Verge. CEO Jason Citron explained in the memo that the company had grown “quickly” since 2020 and took on too many projects.

“Today, we are increasingly clear on the need to sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization,” Citron told employees in the memo. “This is what largely drove the decision to reduce the size of our workforce.”

Lost Boys Interactive – 125 people

On January 12, Aftermath reported that some employees at Gearbox-owned developer Lost Boys Interactive had been laid off. A Washington State WARN Act notice seems to indicate that 125 people were affected.

“It seems a sizable portion of Lost Boys Interactive was laid off today, including myself,” wrote Jared Pace, a producer at the studio, on Linkedin. Pace reportedly told Aftermath that layoffs “affected all disciplines at all levels.”

Funselektor – 3 people

The Canadian indie studio behind Art of Rally announced on January 12 that three developers had been laid off.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to make some positions redundant at Funselektor,” tweeted the studio’s founder Dune Casu. “We’d like to help them in their employment hunt in the video game sector, so we recommend these awesome Australians: @AdrianGenerator, @PezzleSp, @h4ypal.”

PTW (formerly Pole To Win) – 45 people

PTW (previously known as Pole To Win)—a quality assurance, localization, and support studio that has worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom—was hit with layoffs on January 11. A person with knowledge of the situation told Kotaku that about 45 people lost their jobs. The layoffs were mostly QA staffers who live outside the United States, but other departments lost people, too.

At least two people who Kotaku was told were laid off have since posted on LinkedIn that they are no longer working for PTW as a result of the layoffs.

A spokesperson provided Kotaku with this statement:

“PTW made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in several countries where we operate, This decision was not made lightly – our company’s core offerings stem from the people who enable us to deliver world-class products and services. We want to thank our departing team members for the time and effort they put into the company.”

Thunderful – 20% of staff (Around 100 people)

On January 17, as reported by GamesIndustry, Thunderful Group announced plans to “restructure” the company in order to cut costs. These plans include laying off 20% of the company’s workforce.

CEO Martin Walfisz commented that the layoffs are part of a move to “strengthen the viability” of the company and that there is “no alternative.”

“It has been difficult to make these decisions,” Walfisz said. “And it saddens me that we will have to say goodbye to many skilled colleagues and partners. Nevertheless, I am convinced that this is a necessary direction for Thunderful and that these changes will make the company a stronger player in the market.”

Pixelberry Studios – Unknown

Nexon-owned mobile game developer Pixelberry Studios has cut an unknown number of employees. The news was first reported by Gamedeveloper on January 17. Employees have posted publicly on LinkedIn confirming the layoffs.

“I found out I’m going to be laid off along with a lot of great people at Pixelberry,” said associate engineering manager Paige Lowe on LinkedIn.

Kotaku has contacted Pixelberry Studios and Nexon for comment.

Netspeak Games – 25 people

On January 16, Netspeak Games—the studio behind the upcoming cozy-life sim Sunshine Days—confirmed that it was laying off 25 people. The news of cuts came in a blog post from Netspeak CEO Callum Cooper-Brighting.

The CEO said it “has not been easy” to let staff go, but added: “However, it’s important for us to be able to adapt our structure to ensure we can efficiently navigate through the increasingly challenging landscape of the current gaming industry.”

In the blog post, Cooper-Brighting said that in today’s industry “new IP is just a huge risk” and it’s trickier than ever to get investors on board. As spotted by Gamedeveloper, the CEO added in a LinkedIn post that Netspeak “tried everything under the sun” to avoid these layoffs.

Wimo Games – 35 people

Employees at Austin, Texas-based Wimo Games, a game developer and publisher focused primarily on virtual reality titles, have confirmed online that the company closed its doors on January 17. Wimo Games was founded in 2021.

Kotaku spoke to Walter Hill, an associate software engineer at Wimo Games, who confirmed that 35 people were employed at the studio when it shut its doors on Wednesday.

The CEO of Wimo Games, Dave Rosen, confirmed the news and provided Kotaku with this statement about the closure:

“We’re immensely proud of our work on RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone, Battle Bows, and most recently, Micro Machines: Mini Challenge Mayhem. We’re grateful to each and every player who bought the games our team poured so much of their hard work into.

Our passionate and incredibly talented team members will be looking for new jobs and were provided severance to assist in the transition. If you have roles available, or if you’ve spotted any openings, please contact WIMO through LinkedIn or those individuals directly. We appreciate our players and the many organizations who have collaborated with us so much.”

Behaviour Interactive – 45 people

Kotaku has learned that Dead By Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive laid off around 45 people between January 9-11.

Individuals with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Kotaku that the layoffs only affected employees at Behaviour Interactive’s Montreal studio. Kotaku was told layoffs had started in December.

This latest round of cuts included staff across different departments. At least one person has publicly posted about the layoffs on LinkedIn.

On January 18, Behaviour Interactive confirmed to Kotaku that layoffs happened and sent over this statement:

Recently, changing market conditions necessitated adjusting the scope of several Behaviour projects. In these situations, our preference is always to reassign talent to other projects. Unfortunately, this option is not always available to us. These departures represented less than 3% of our total workforce.

CI Games – 10% of staff (Likely 15-20)

CI Games has laid off employees as first reported by Gameindustry.biz on January 18. Sources told the outlet that Lords of the Fallen developer Hexworks and Sniper Ghost Warrior developer Underdog had also been affected.

CI Games CEO Marek Tymiński provided Gameindustry.biz with the following statement, confirming the layoffs:

To preserve business strength and stability, CI Games has made the tough but necessary decision to implement a targeted round of redundancies, affecting approximately 10% of employees across the company.

We would like to thank each of them for the part they’ve played during their time with us. Further business optimizations are being made to the organization’s pipelines and processes.

31st Union – less than 10

On January 18, a small number of employees at 2K-owned studio 31st Union were cut according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The company—with studios in California and Spain—has yet to ship a debut game and was founded in 2019. It is led by Michael Condrey who previously helped create the Dead Space series at EA and later co-founded the Activision studio Sledgehammer Games in 2009.

A 2K Games spokesperson confirmed the layoffs had happened at the studio, telling Kotaku the total number of affected workers was “less than 10″ and provided this statement:

As part of our on-going efforts to best support our studio and games, today 31st Union parted ways with a very small number of team members. These situations are never easy, but we’re confident in the trajectory of 31st Union. The studio is continuing to actively recruit for key roles and to grow in other ways in the year ahead.

Com2uS – ‘a two-digit number of people’

On January 18, Korea JoongAng Daily reported that Com2uS—a South Korean mobile and online game company established in 1998—was laying off “a two-digit number of employees.” A company spokesperson provided the following statement to the outlet:

“We came to this difficult conclusion as we decided to optimize some of our projects considering recent market and management conditions.”

Com2uS’s most popular game is Summoner’s War, an online mobile game launched in 2014. In 2017, the game had earned over $1 billion in revenue. Kotaku has contacted Com2uS for additional details about the cuts.

Metaverse World (Netmarble F&C) – 70 people

A new report from Korea’s Yonhap News reveals about 70 people were laid off by Netmarble on January 19. These people were part of Metaverse World, a metaverse-focused subsidiary of the large South Korean mobile game developer Netmarble. Metaverse World was founded in 2022.

According to a statement provided by Netmarble to Yonhap News, the entire subsidiary has been “liquidated.”

“We continued to seek a sustainable business direction,” a Netmarble spokesperson said. “But due to management conditions and market changes, we have made the difficult decision to liquidate the ‘Metaverse World’ corporation, which was developing the Metaverse platform.”

As pointed out by Korea JoongAng Daily, Netmarble’s last seven financial quarters weren’t profitable. As a result, the company is looking to streamline and cut costs. It has recently shut down multiple mobile games, including Koongya Draw Party, Knights Chronicle, StoneAge World, and online MMORPG Marvel Future Revolution. Kotaku has contacted Netmarble for more information.

Ntreev Soft (NCSoft) – 70 people

On January 18, Korea JoongAng Daily reported that NCSoft—a South Korean video game developer and publisher known for MMOs like Guild Wars and Lineage—laid off all 70 employees that made up its Ntreev Soft subsidiary.

According to the outlet, it will also shut down some mobile games, too, including Trickster M, Pro-Baseball H2, and Pro-Baseball H3. This is the latest move by NCSoft to revamp the company and cut costs. In December, the outlet also reported that NCSoft cut a financial AI unit within the company.

Kotaku has contacted NCSoft about the layoffs.

Riot Games – 530 people

The developer and publisher behind League of Legends and Valorant announced on January 22 that it was cutting 530 jobs or about 11% of its total workforce. The news was first reported by Bloomberg earlier in the day.

“Today, I’m sharing a decision we hoped we would never have to make at Riot,”
said CEO Dylan Jadeja in a post on the company’s official website. “We’re changing some of the bets we’ve made and shifting how we work across the company to create focus and move us toward a more sustainable future. This decision means we’re eliminating about 530 roles globally, which represents around 11% of our workforce, with the biggest impact to teams outside of core development. This also sadly means we’ll be saying goodbye to many talented colleagues and friends across all areas of Riot.”

Riot explained that it was winding down its Riot Forge program following the release of Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story. Riot Forge was a program where the publisher worked with outside development teams to create spin-off games set in the larger LoL universe. It will also reduce the number of people working on its card game, Legends of Runeterra.

“Despite critical achievements and the role it’s played in helping to build out the world of Runeterra, [Legends of Runeterra] has faced financial challenges since launch, costing significantly more to develop and support than it generates,” explained Riot Games.

The company also released the internal memo sent out to staff on January 22 announcing the layoffs. In the memo, CEO Jadeja said he was “accountable” for the layoffs and cited Riot having “too many things underway” as the main reason for the cuts.

“Some of the significant investments we’ve made aren’t paying off the way we expected them to,” said Jadeja. “Our costs have grown to the point where they’re unsustainable, and we’ve left ourselves with no room for experimentation or failure – which is vital to a creative company like ours. All of this puts the core of our business at risk.

In the internal memo, Riot laid out what it will provide to those folks losing their job, which includes a minimum six-month severance pay, a cash bonus equal to their 2023 Annual Performance Bonus, a laptop, job placement services, and access to their work email for a limited time after termination.

One Player Mission – 15 people

On January 23, video game recruitment agency One Player Mission (OPM) announced it is closing after 26 years. The company employed 15 people. In a post on OPM’s official website, managing director Kim Parker-Adcock said it was an “incredibly challenging decision” to shut down OPM.

“As we move into 2024, despite our best efforts I cannot see how OPM can remain profitable and overcome the difficulties that have arisen in the games industry,” said Parker-Adcock. “I understand the impact this decision has on our employees, clients, candidates, and partners, and I can only apologize for any disruption this might cause.”

People Can Fly – 30+ people

On January 24, over 30 people were laid off from Polish-based People Can Fly. Kotaku has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation, who also provided screenshots confirming the layoff news, that the cuts only affected staff working on a yet-unannounced game—codenamed Project Gemini—that is being published by Square Enix.

People Can Fly confirmed to Kotaku layoffs have happened at the studio.

People Can Fly development director Adam Alker, in an email provided to Kotaku and sent to staff working on Project Gemini, explained that due to budget limitations and shrinking scope, the company was laying off “over 30 people.” Around 20 people were also cut from the project but will continue working at PCF on other projects.

“We understand that this decision impacts each of you, and we want to express our gratitude for your hard work, dedication, and contributions thus far,” said Alker in the internal email. “To those individuals transitioning out of the studio due to these changes, we extend our sincere appreciation for the skills and expertise you brought to the team. We will keep our fingers crossed for your next steps in game dev and offer all our support.”

People Can Fly previously worked with Square Enix on 2021 looter-shooter Outriders. In 2023, Project Gemini was confirmed to be in development and was set to launch in 2026. It’s unknown if that release date will stick following these cuts. A source told Kotaku that the upcoming game’s campaign was going to be shorter and its enemy roster smaller as a result of the reduced budget.

Kotaku was told that, due to contract details, laid off employees in Poland were given a three-month transition period and will continue working during that time. For those outside of Poland who were affected by today’s cuts, they will be out of a job by the end of the week.

Black Forest Games – Around 50 people

Kotaku has learned that Black Forest Games, the developer behind the Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2 remakes, has cut roughly 50% of its total workforce. The studio reportedly had 110 employees in 2023. The layoffs were announced on January 24 and management told staff that more information would be provided next week.

One person with knowledge of the situation told Kotaku that the creative directors and most “if not all” of the managers will keep their jobs. At least one employee has posted publicly about the layoffs on social media, Kotaku can confirm.

Kotaku has contacted Black Forest Games about the layoffs. In August 2023, THQ Nordic (owned by Embracer) announced that BFG was working on a TMNT game based on the popular, darker spin-off comic series The Last Ronin. According to Paramount, that game is still a few years away.

Microsoft – 1,900 people

On January 25, IGN and The Verge first reported that Microsoft was laying off 1,900 people across its various gaming businesses, including Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax. Approximately 8.6 percent of Microsoft’s “gaming workforce” will lose their jobs, as explained in an internal email from Xbox boss Phil Spencer obtained by IGN and The Verge.

Blizzard president Mike Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham have also left the company. The studio’s in-development survival game, which was first teased in 2022, has also been canceled. The layoffs come about three months after Microsoft closed its massive and controversial $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

On January 24, Microsoft became only the third company in history to be worth more than $3 trillion.

Reikon Games – About 60 people

Kotaku has learned from sources familiar with the situation that layoffs have happened at Reikon Games, an independent studio located in Poland. The developer previously released Ruiner in 2017 and has been teasing its next game over the last year or so.

Multiple employees have publicly posted about the layoffs on social media and LinkedIn. According to sources, about 60 to 70 people, or around 56% of the total company were laid off on January 23. Most told Kotaku that it was sudden and shocking.

Kotaku has reached out to Reikon Games for more information.

Little Red Dog Games – 27 people

On January 25, Kotaku learned that Little Red Dog Games—an indie strategy game studio headquartered in New York City—has shut down operation and closed its doors, leaving nearly 30 people, including the studio’s founders, out of work.

According to a LinkedIn post by LRD’s COO and executive producer Blazej Zywiczynski, the studio closed on January 22. Zywiczynski says the “entire team” of 27 people is now looking for new jobs.

In the post on LinkedIn announcing the closure of the studio, the COO listed every affected person by name and provided links to their LinkedIn page to help them find work as quickly as possible.

Eidos-Montréal – 97 people

In an official statement posted publicly on January 29, Embracer-owned Eidos-Montréal announced that it was laying off 97 people across its “development teams, administration, and support services.”

“The global economic context, the challenges of our industry, and the comprehensive restructuring announced by Embracer have finally impacted our studio,” the studio explained in its statement.

“We are working to support all impacted personnel through this transition. These very talented, highly experienced people are entering the employment market, and we want them to find their next projects and are helping to do so. As we navigate these difficult times, the well-being of our team is our priority, and the continuous commitment to creating games that players will be able to enjoy.”

Embracer, who at one point was purchasing studios and companies left and right, has been making cuts and announcing studio closures since a high-profile and important $2 billion deal failed to happen at the last minute in May 2023.

Chief Rebel – Around 21 people

Kotaku learned on January 29 that around 21 people were laid off at Sweden-based indie studio Chief Rebel. The studio was formed in 2018.

Someone with knowledge of the situation confirmed the news to Kotaku, explaining that folks were told of layoffs on January 16. A few days later the company informed those who were being laid off.

Kotaku has contacted Chief Rebel for more information.

Sega of America – 61 people

On January 31, Gamesindustry.biz reported on layoffs at Sega of America via a post from “What Layoff” on Twitter. 61 people will lose their jobs in March according to a WARN act notification filed in California on January 8.

The Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS) confirmed the layoffs on social media and said the union had been negotiating with the company over the layoffs since November.

“Through our union efforts, we’ve been able to more than double the number of saved jobs, and to offer severance to our temp workers,” the union explained.

“This, however, does not take away from the fact that many of our coworkers are being laid off in a decision we believe will have a negative impact on the working conditions of those who remain with the company, and in the quality of our future games.”

Nimble Giant Entertainment – Roughly 30 people

Kotaku has learned that Argentina-based Nimble Giant Entertainment laid off roughly 30 people on January 30. The studio was founded in 2002 and recently released 4X strategy game Star Trek: Infinite in 2023. Some affected employees have posted about the layoffs publicly online.

Nimble Giant was purchased by Embracer in 2020. Kotaku has contacted the studio for more information.

People with knowledge of the situation told Kotaku that this was the latest round of layoffs at the studio. Two previous rounds of cuts happened in 2023.

Artificer – 28 people

Kotaku has learned that around 25 people, or nearly half of the team at Poland-based game studio Artificer, were laid off on January 31. Some employees have posted publicly about the layoffs.

The studio was founded in 2019 and was acquired by Devolver Digital in 2021. In May 2023 it released turn-based tactics game Showgunners.

Sources familiar with the situation told Kotaku that around 25 people were laid off today. Another 10-12 people will remain for a few months to polish up the studio’s next, unannounced game. After that, they will be cut, too. Finally, the remaining staff will stick around to work on the studio’s next game.

Update: 2/1/2024 – 11: 35 am EST: Devolver Digital sent over a statement to Kotaku confirming the layoffs and how many people were affected:

Yesterday, Devolver and studio Artificer made the tough decision to reduce the Artificer workforce by 28 employees, 18 effective immediately and 10 after their current project releases.

Over the past year, both companies have worked together to navigate the studio’s difficulties to ensure Artificer remains open and that their hard work is realized with the launch of their next game.

Layoffs are not easy, and the remaining team at Artificer and Devolver Digital are committed to supporting these talented and creative professionals find new roles throughout the industry.

Airship Syndicate – 12 people

On January 31, as first reported by Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter, developer Airship Syndicate laid off 12 people. The company confirmed the layoffs in a statement provided to Kotaku shortly after the news broke.

Airship Syndicate was founded in 2014 and since then has released games like Ruined King and Wayfinder.

“This decision was made to ensure that Airship Syndicate can continue to operate and deliver great experiences,” a spokesperson told Kotaku. “In addition to reducing staff, Ryan Stefanelli, president, and Joe Madureira, CEO, will be reducing their pay while we work to secure our future plans.”

Airship told Kotaku that while this is a “challenging” situation it will continue to work on Wayfinder and will be “talking more about our future soon.”

Threaks – 25 people

On February 2, company representatives confirmed that Threaks—a 15-year-old German indie studio—was shutting down and the entire team was laid off. Game Developer had previously reported that the studio was planning to close in January.

Threaks CTO Kevin Hagen confirmed the news on LinkedIn, saying that while the team will try to do everything to “turn the tides with the remaining time” they have, they want to support the staff in finding new opportunities. According to Hagen, 25 people were affected by the closing.

Crop Circle Games – Around 50

As first reported by GameDeveloper on February 5, a round of layoffs has happened at Crop Circle Games. Based on public posts on LinkedIn, these cuts were made across multiple departments, including writing, design, and engineering.

Kotaku spoke to one person familiar with the situation who explained that “just under 50” people were affected. But staff weren’t technically laid off. Instead, they have allegedly been furloughed because the company can’t afford to pay their severance. Crop Circle Games was founded in 2022 by former Undead Labs (State of Decay) founder Jeff Strain.

Kotaku has contacted Crop Circle Games for more information.

Threshold Games — 11 people

As confirmed via a LinkedIn post on February 6, indie developer Threshold Games will officially close on February 9. The studio was planning to officially announce its existence in one month. 11 people are reportedly affected by the closing.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that it seems our time at Threshold Games has come to an end,” said lead producer Astra Ebonwing. “Our studio is closing as of February 9th, one month before our planned announcement to the press. Our team is extremely saddened by this very sudden and very unexpected turn of events.”

As reported by GameDeveloper, Threshold was founded in 2019 by June Saphry.

91Act – Around 60 people

As reported by GameLook on February 7, Chinese mobile game developer 91Act has reportedly laid off everyone at the studio besides founder and CEO Jiang Lei. The studio recently released a major update for its 2023 title BlazBlue Entropy Effect.

Kotaku has pinged the company for more information on the layoffs.

Visual Concepts Austin – Around 9 people

On February 7, Eurogamer spotted LinkedIn posts seemingly confirming that layoffs had happened at Visual Concepts Austin. The studio is most well known for its work on WWE 2K23, NBA 2K24, and Lego 2K Drive.

A person with knowledge of the situation told Kotaku that around 9 people were laid off on February 6.

Kotaku has reached out to 2K Games for more information.

Hidden Path Entertainment – 44 people

On February 7, Hidden Path CEO Jeff Pobst confirmed on LinkedIn that 44 employees had been laid off after the studio was unable to secure enough funding for an unannounced RPG project.

“In the face of a challenging environment, we now have no choice but to pause development on that project and reduce the company size until we have an opportunity to return to it,” said Pobst.

“Those who are impacted have played key roles in the development of a number of awesome projects. Their creativity, passion, and commitment have left an indelible mark on Hidden Path. We are determined to do what we can to support these talented professionals so that they can resume their careers elsewhere, all while hoping we can work with them again soon.”

As of February 7, 2024, at least 6,377 people have been (or will be) laid off this year.

The video game industry is bigger and makes more money than movies and music combined, bringing in $180 billion in 2021 alone. It’s also an industry that becomes riskier and more expensive each year as AAA games take longer and cost more to make, leading to a situation where even a single flop can sink a studio or publisher. And the whole industry is also in desperate need of unions to help protect its millions of workers when things don’t work out as planned.

Until then, corporate greed, industry consolidation, and poor leadership will likely continue to cost thousands of people their jobs as we’ve seen at Twitch, Riot, Microsoft, and Unity.


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