Epic Games, the team behind Unreal Engine and Fortnite, have issued massive staff cuts. The news was broken by Bloomberg who reported that about 16% of the Epic staff were laid off, a figure that amounts to about 900 job losses.
The heart-breaking cull is likely due to Epic’s continued spending as they have been looking to grow many aspects of their brand, including but not limited to the Epic Game Store. They also purchased Rocket League developer Psyonix, Fall Guys developer Mediatonic, and Guitar Hero developer Harmonix amongst many other money-spending ventures. Not seeing the return they were hoping for has seemingly led to an Icarus moment that’s resulted in a devastating loss of talent. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a memo to staff that the company was “spending way more than we earn.”
The staff who have lost their jobs have been offered a 6-month severance package and insurance, hopefully allowing them the time to find new work. As for who has been impacted by the job losses, it looks like it’s a lot of the acquired teams. Previous acquisition Bandcamp is set to be sold off and marketing company SuperAwesome is being divested, now set to operate independently. The team at Mediatonic is also hit hard with a number of employees already sharing that they were let go by Epic. In a clever rearranging of their studio letters, the team has shared images online of what they are describing as a “decimation”.
The Mediatonic logo right now: pic.twitter.com/LHqbc62LL3
— Ed Fear (@edfear) September 28, 2023
It’s a hard thing to see such talented people let go and it’s unfortunately a story that’s all too common right now as video game companies look to infinitely continue growing, but eventually their greed gets too expensive. It’s the exact story we heard from Embracer Group recently who have had to downscale considerably. Layoffs have also impacted other development studios such as Deck Nine, Brace Yourself Games, Volition, Ascendant Studios and many more, all within the 2023 calendar year.
Our hearts go out to those who lost their jobs.