February 28, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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A tough week in the gaming industry, thousands of developers were fired

A tough week in the gaming industry, thousands of developers were fired

2023 was a great year for gamers, but it was a tough year for game developers. Suddenly hundreds of developers found themselves on the street. Unfortunately, layoffs will continue until 2024.

Just this week, several game developers from multiple studios were laid off. Riot Games alone, the studio behind League of Legends and Valorant, laid off 530 employees this week. This represents 11% of the total number of employees at Riot Games. The studio also decided to discontinue Riot Forge, a program intended for other studios to work on creative games in the League of Legends universe.

“For most of our history, we have been able to avoid days like these, but this decision is critical to the future of Riot,” the company said in a statement. “This is not to please shareholders or hit a quarterly earnings number – it is a necessity.

“Over the past few years, as Riot's headcount has doubled, we've spread our efforts across more and more projects without sharp enough blades to pinpoint what players need most.

“The adjustments we're making are aimed at focusing our focus on the areas that have the biggest impact on your experience while investing less in things that don't.”

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Nearly half of Black Forest's games are on the streets

It's also a sad week for developer Black Forest Games. The studio is owned by Embracer Group, It laid off half its employees. Black Forest Games had about 100 employees, so about 50 people are now out of work. The studio was responsible for the remake of Destroy All Humans 1 and 2. Last year it was announced that Black Forest Games was working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin game. With the workforce reduced by 50%, the question is what is the status of this project.

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30 workers at Outriders developer People Can Fly laid off

There were also a round of layoffs at People Can Fly studio this week. Up to 30 people had to leave the studio. People Can Fly was responsible for Bulletstorm and the recent co-op RPG Outriders. People Can Fly is currently working on Project Gemini, a game by publisher Square-Enix.

“We understand that this decision impacts each of you, and we want to express our gratitude for your hard work, dedication, and contributions to date,” Alker said in his email to affected employees.

“To those individuals who are moving on from the studio due to these changes, we extend our sincere appreciation for the skills and experience you have brought to the team. We will keep our fingers crossed for your next steps in game development and offer you all our support.

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10% of CI games were laid off

Developer CI Games, the studio behind the recently successful Lords of the Fallen game, released the title this week 10% of the number of dismissed employees. According to the studio, this was a difficult but necessary decision. According to Gamesindustry.biz, layoffs at CI Games have also affected Sniper developer Ghost Warrior Underdog. It is not clear exactly how many people are out of work.

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1,900 people have been laid off from Microsoft Gaming

The largest round of layoffs for 2024 yet was announced yesterday. At least 1,900 Microsoft Gaming employees were fired immediately. Microsoft Gaming includes Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, and King. It's not clear which studios were hit hardest. However, Project Odyssey, a survival game that Blizzard Entertainment had been working on for 6 years, has been completely cancelled. Blizzard President Mike Ybarra will also step down from his position starting this week. Next week, Microsoft will appoint a new president of Blizzard Entertainment.

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