Black Forest Games, the studio behind the current Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2 remakes, has reportedly laid off around 50 people. This message comes from Kotakuwhich learned from a source familiar with the situation that these layoffs were announced yesterday, January 24, and that more information about them would be announced next week.
Game Informer has reached out to Black Forest Games and will update this story if we learn more.
Kotaku writes that according to his source, Black Forest Games’ creative directors and most, “if not all” managers will keep their jobs following the layoffs. With around 110 employees last year, a reduction of 50 positions would correspond to a reduction in the studio’s workforce by around 50 percent.
Last August, publisher THQ Nordic, part of Embracer Group, announced that Black Forest Games was developing a game based on the popular graphic novel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Last Ronin. It is unclear whether these layoffs will have an impact on development.
These job cuts join a series of other discouraging layoffs in 2024, totaling over 5,500 in the first 25 days of the year alone. Microsoft is laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard and ZeniMax teams, Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees this week, and League of Legends company Riot Games also laid off 530 employees this week.
We recently learned that Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games is laying off 10 percent of its employees, that Unity will be laying off 1,800 employees by the end of March, and that Twitch has laid off 500 employees.
We also learned that Discord had laid off 170 employees, that there were layoffs at PTW, a support studio that works with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld build company Thunderful Group laid off about 100 employees. Dead by Daylight developer Behavior Interactive has also reportedly laid off 45 people.
Last year, more than 10,000 people in the gaming industry or gaming-related industries were laid off.
In January last year, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees as part of its ongoing $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which the company completed in October.
Striking Distance Studios, the team behind 2022’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off more than 30 employees in August 2023. That same month, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare laid off 50 employees, including longtime studio veterans. The following month, in September, Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios laid off around 45% of its employees Fortnite developer Epic Games has laid off 830 employees.
In October last year, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog laid off at least 25 employees, and Telltale Games also suffered layoffs, although the actual number of employees affected has not yet been disclosed. Dreams developer Media Molecule laid off 20 employees at the end of October.
In November, Amazon Games laid off 180 employees, Ubisoft laid off more than 100 employees, Bungie laid off about 100 developers, and 505 Games’ parent company Digital Bros laid off 30% of its employees.
In December, Embracer Group closed its reformed TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design, and earlier this year Embracer closed Saints Row developer Volition Games, a studio with more than 30 years of development history. A few weeks before the winter holidays, Hasbro, owner of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, laid off 1,100 employees.
The gaming industry will certainly feel the effects of such terrible layoffs for many years to come. Game Informer employees’ hearts go out to everyone affected by layoffs or closures.