Challenges in the Gaming Industry: Black Forest Games Layoffs Amidst Broader Job Cuts, Impacting Thousands in 2024

Black Forest Games, the company that made the new versions of Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2, is said to have fired around 50 employees. Kotaku got this information from someone who knows what’s going on. The source said that the layoffs were announced yesterday, January 24, and that more details would be given next week.

I talked to Black Forest Games about this story, and Game Informer will let you know if they find out anything else.

A source told Kotaku that although Black Forest Games is letting some people go, most, if not all, of the bosses will still have their jobs. With about 110 workers last year, cutting 50 jobs would mean that the company has about half as many people working there.

Publisher THQ Nordic, which is owned by Embracer Group, said in August that Black Forest Games was making a game called The Last Ronin based on the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles visual novel. It’s not clear if these cuts will have an effect on its growth.

Another sad thing is that more than 5,500 jobs have been cut already in 2024. These layoffs are added to the list. Microsoft is letting go of 1,900 workers across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams. This week, People Can Fly, the company that made Outriders, let go of more than 30 workers, and Riot Games, the company that made League of Legends, let go of 530 workers.

We just found out that CI Games, the company that published Lords of the Fallen, was letting go of 10% of its staff, that Unity would be letting go of 1,800 people by the end of March, and that Twitch had already let go of 500 workers.

We also heard that 170 people were let go from Discord, PTW, a support studio that has worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and Thunderful Group, a business that builds games for SteamWorld, let about 100 people go. Behaviour Interactive, the company that made Dead by Daylight, is said to have fired 45 people as well.

More than 10,000 people who worked in games or businesses related to games lost their jobs last year.

In January of last year, Microsoft let go of 10,000 workers while it was buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. The deal was finally finished in October.

In August 2023, Striking Distance Studios let go of more than 30 workers. They were the ones who made The Callisto Protocol in 2022. In the same month, BioWare, the company that made Mass Effect and Dragon Age, fired 50 workers, some of whom had been with the company for a long time. The next month, in September, Ascendant Studios, the company that made Immortals of Aveum, fired about 45% of its staff, and Epic Games, the company that made Fortnite, fired 830 workers.

Naughty Dog, the company that made The Last of Us, fired at least 25 workers in October of last year. Telltale Games also fired workers, but the exact number of those fired has not been released yet. Twenty workers were let go by Dreams creator Media Molecule at the end of October.

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