Earlier this afternoon, my employer announced that they would be laying off about 6% of their global workforce. Some of these layoffs actually started several weeks ago when my employer closed a studio in California and cancelled two games. Today’s announcement revealed more people will lose their jobs and in total, about 800 people will be out of work.
I gotta admit, the games industry seems to have weathered this economic storm better than other tech companies so far. Compared to the layoffs at Google, Amazon, and Meta, their layoff numbers would have wiped all the people at my company worldwide. That’s not to diminish what has happened and will continue to happen where I work though. Any way you look at it, 800 people losing their jobs is a lot. That’s 800 people with bills, mortgages, families, loans, children, spouses, and other responsibilities to take care of, all of which require a job to do so. If there might be a silver lining, it’s that the severance packages in the past have been extremely generous. I know of two people who were laid off a few years back that received severance for approximately two years. That’s not a typo, these people were given over twenty months of severance. Of course, not everyone will be as lucky. The amount of severance will be tied to the length of employment at the company.
Those getting laid off will also be put into the job market that already has been flooded with job seekers from all the recent tech layoffs as well. It might be a tough road for some. From what I’ve seen and heard, it might be especially rough for recruiters.
From a personal standpoint, I’m not worried. In the CEO’s statement today, he called out a few teams and games that were doing well and represent the present and future of the company. I’m lucky enough to work on one of those games he mentioned. I’m privy to a bit of our financial performance and without saying too much, the game I work on is profitable and provides a significant amount of revenue for the company. I also happen to work on features that a have direct impact on how much money the game brings in. Lastly, I was informed today, by more than one person, that our team is safe for the most part.
No one is ever 100% but as far as I can tell, the odds of me being part of that 6% is are extremely low. I have high hopes I’ll be ok and I hope everyone affected finds something soon.