While 2023 was a great year for gaming, the other end of the industry had it quite bad. Nearly 30 game studios were shut down last year, highlighting a grim outlook for this beloved industry.
Developers like Naughty Dog, Bungie, and more had it rough. Epic Games alone laid off nearly 1000 developers, with many hoping the near year would mark an end to this trend. However, as noted by Kotaku, over 2,700 layoffs have already been confirmed for 2024.
Why it matters: We are just two weeks into the new year, but layoffs are already in full force across various developers, setting a terrifying precedent for the industry.
Twitch reportedly set to lay off 35% of their staff as soon as tomorrow pic.twitter.com/dpZhJSPfSt
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) January 9, 2024
Unity Software has the biggest layoff count in 2024 so far.
The studio confirmed it would let go of 1800 people in 2024, which is reportedly the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history. It had already planned to cut off 25% of its staff, so hopefully, we won’t be seeing more layoffs from it.
Surprisingly, Twitch also laid off a massive number of employees. The platform laid off many employees last year twice, and it has done the same thing again. Twitch is reducing its employee count by about 500, cutting its staff by nearly 35% this month.
Like Twitch, Discord is making major layoffs. The platform has already decided to lay off 17% of its total staff, which rounds up to 170 employees. Discord has been growing quickly, so it was surprising to see this many layoffs from the platform.
At the time of layoffs, Discord employees were told:
“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.”
more tech layoffs — discord cuts 17 percent of staff in an announcement to employees this morning — approx 170ish people i believe, per two people familiar
— rat king 🐀 (@MikeIsaac) January 11, 2024
Additionally, up to 400 employees were laid off from Playtika. In 2022, the company laid off 900 employees. While things seemed to be headed in a positive direction, 10% of its staff is again being let go of.
A few other studios also confirmed layoffs, but these were the most notable. Altogether, at least 2,792 layoffs have been confirmed in 2024, even though the year has barely begun.
With the gaming lineup in 2024 being extremely promising, it is sad to see so many layoffs. While AAA titles will likely move ahead like last year, this is still a dangerous trajectory for the gaming industry.
We don’t see the layoffs stopping anytime soon since the economic conditions have made it tough for mega-corporations to retain talent. Still, we hope everyone who has lost their job recently can find work elsewhere in the gaming industry.
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Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.