Thursday, February 29, 2024

Notable Video Game Layoffs - 12-28 February 2024

Earlier this month I highlighted some layoffs in the video game industry in the first two weeks of February. My reasoning for doing so at that point was my belief the layoffs would continue and I didn't want to fall behind covering the news. Sadly, I was correct as since 12 February, the website has documented at least 1800 people working in the video game industry losing their jobs. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye.

The big news, of course, was Sony laying off 900 employees from its PlayStation division. The actions were laid out in a letter from Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios.

The US based studios and groups impacted by a reduction in workforce are: 

  • Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, as well as our Technology, Creative, and Support teams

In UK and European based studios, it is proposed: 

  • That PlayStation Studios’ London Studio will close in its entirety;  
  • That there will be reductions in Guerrilla and Firesprite 
  • These are in addition to some smaller reductions in other teams across PlayStation Studios. 

Sony wasn't the only big name company to institute layoffs. Electronic Arts initially announced shutting down two mobile titlesEA Sports MLB Tap Sports and F1 Mobile Racing, affecting staff at CodeMasters and Glu Mobile respectively. A "a small number of staff" are facing layoffs. But then yesterday the company announced layoffs of approximately 5% of its workforce, approximately 670 employees. In March 2023 EA laid off 6%, or approximately 775 people.

The UK-based Supermassive Games announced layoffs believed to consist of up to 25% of the company's workforce. The makers of Until Dawn, The Quarry and the Dark Pictures anthology horror series. According to Bloomberg, 90 staff ultimately will lose their jobs. Eurogamer reported the company has approximately 350 employees.

Vivendi-owned Gameloft also announced cuts in its Lviv and Toronto studios. The layoffs in the Ukrainian studio is possibly due to soldiers returning to civilian life. 
Zadorozhna added that 38 people were among those cut from the location. Meanwhile, demobilized military personnel are poised to return to their former positions at the Lviv office.
The number of employees affected in the Toronto office is unknown.

On Tuesday, indie developer Deck Nine games laid off 20% of its staff. According to, that amounts to approximately 25 positions.

For the kids, Paramount Global is shutting down the Noggin app and laying off the app's entire staff. The company is in the middle of laying off 3% of its staff. For those who, like myself, had never heard of Noggin:
The SVOD service for two- to seven-year-olds had 2.5 million global subscribers in 2019 (four years after launch) and houses more than 1,000 educational games, videos and books in its library, some of which will soon be homeless. One of the app’s most recent launches that rolled out in December is Nogginville, an immersive digital world where kids can visit iconic locations from the broader Nickelodeon universe and play mini-games. 

Noggin also features Nick Jr. preschool juggernauts such as Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer, as well as third-party acquisitions like JoJo and Gran Gran (BBC Studios Kids & Family, A Productions) and Little Bear (Nelvana). This long- and short-form video programming will be shifted over to Paramount+ under the Nick Jr. banner.
And finally comes the layoffs at Daybreak Games, makers of Everquest, Everquest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and DC Universe Online. The initial reports of 70 employees losing their jobs was reduced to less than 15.

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