Throughout the gaming industry this month, there have been almost as many layoffs as last year alone. Unity and Twitch have laid off 1,800 and 500 people respectively. Then, earlier this week, Riot Games announced it was shutting down Riot Forge. It was a project where Riot would work with indie devs and develop games using the League of Legends IP. This also came with news that they would be laying off 530 people at the company. Today, Activision Blizzard, newly acquired by Microsoft, announced that it was laying off another 1,900 people.
Last year the gaming industry had close to or around 10,000 layoffs in all of 2023. We’re now on track to beat that record tenfold if layoffs don’t slow down. These layoffs seem to be handled sloppily too. Some echo Nintendo’s actions back in 2014, with the late CEO Iwata taking his own pay cut in order to save jobs. These other executives seem to only be interested in cutting jobs, and not their wallets.
In 25 Days the Games Industry Is Already Halfway From All of 2023’s Layoffs
Riot Games had quite the benefits package for their employees. Some were encouraged to use their paid therapy. However, this didn’t all work out so well according to one now-former Riot employee on Twitter. “Halfway through the call, my Slack errored out and all of my Google sessions logged out,” said Cheryl Platz who found she was terminated from the company during a therapy session.
Xbox and Activision Blizzard layoffs weren’t so smooth either. Jason Schreier, a notable games journalist, stated that employees from Activision were texting him to see if they were affected.
Why Does It Keep Happening Like This?
It seems these CEOs and executives don’t care about how people are let go after they are laid off. We keep hearing about horror stories as each company terminates its employees. What’s causing these layoffs? Maybe companies are spending too much money on a budget and inflated the games industry’s value during COVID-19. I went into last year’s layoffs briefly in a previous article. I just hope for the economy’s sake and the industry I know and love. That these layoffs stop or slow down.