Is This The Video Game Apocalypse?! Thousands Have Already Been Laid Off In 2024!

Bulletstorm and Outriders video game developer People Can Fly lays off more than 30 people; the Black Forest Games more than 50 people – and this is only the “harvest” of the last few days…



In the past few years, layoffs in the video game industry have unfortunately become more and more common. In the year 2023, layoffs could be heard almost on a weekly basis throughout the industry. When the dust settled, at least 6,000 jobs were lost among publishers, developers and other video game companies. Unfortunately, 2024 looks set to surpass even that. At least, the first few weeks of the year suggest so.

Most people didn’t expect 2024 to be much better, but I’m not sure anyone was prepared for it to be worse – this year, however, started with a series of layoffs, big and small.

All this indicates that the corporate bloodshed will not end anytime soon. Kotaku has attempted to track all of 2024’s layoffs in an ever-updating article, the January 24th version of which can be found at the link below. They list all the studios we’ve heard of so far.

The latest news is that Black Forest Games, the company responsible for Destroy All Humans! remakes 1 and 2, has downsized roughly 50% of its entire staff. The studio reportedly had 110 employees in 2023. The layoffs were announced on January 24. The management informed the employees that they would provide more information next week.

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

By January 24, 2024, at least 3,972 people have been laid off from the video game industry.

The video game industry is bigger and makes more money than movies and music combined. It generated $180 billion in 2021 alone. It’s also an industry that gets riskier and more expensive every year. Because AAA games take longer to make and cost more. This leads to a situation where even a single failure can destroy the studio or label. And the entire industry desperately needs unions. The latter helps protect millions of workers if things don’t go as planned.

In the meantime, corporate greed, industry consolidation, and mismanagement will likely continue to cost thousands of people their jobs, as we’ve seen recently with Twitch, Riot, and Unity…

Source: Kotaku, Resetera

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"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

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