People Can Fly, the developer behind 2021’s surprise shooter hit Outriders, has laid off more than 30 employees. This news comes by way of Kotaku, which reports that its source with knowledge of the situation said the job cuts affected only staff working on an unannounced game at the studio, codenamed Project Gemini, that is to be published by Square Enix.
Kotaku reached out to People Can Fly after its source sent screenshots confirming that layoffs happened at the studio, and development director Adam Alker confirmed the news. Alker cited budget limitations and a shrinking scope for Project Gemini as for why it was laying off “over 30 people.” The publication notes that another 20 outside of the 30 laid off were removed from the project and moved to other projects at People Can Fly.
“We understand that this decision impacts each of you, and we want to express our gratitude for your hard work, dedication, and contributions thus far,” Alker’s email to those affected reads, according to Kotaku. “To those individuals transitioning out of the studio due to these changes, we extend our sincere appreciation for the skills and expertise you brought to the team. We will keep our fingers crossed for your next steps in game dev and offer all our support.”
These People Can Fly layoffs join a string of other disheartening 2024 job cuts, which total more than 3500. Riot Games laid off 530 employees this week, and we recently learned Lords of the Fallen Publisher CI Games was laying off 10 percent of its staff, that Unity would be laying off 1,800 people by the end of March, and that Twitch had laid off 500 employees.
We also learned that Discord had laid off 170 employees, that layoffs happened at PTW, a support studio that’s worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld Build company, Thunderful Group, let go of roughly 100 people. Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people, too.
Last year, more than 10,000 people in the games industry or game-adjacent industries were laid off.
Striking Distance Studios, the team behind 2022’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off more than 30 employees in August of 2023. That same month, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare laid off 50 employees, including long-time studio veterans. The following month, in September, Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios laid off roughly 45% of its staff, and Fortnite developer Epic Games laid off 830 employees.
In October of last year, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog laid off at least 25 employees, and Telltale Games also underwent layoffs, although an actual number of affected employees has not yet been revealed. Dreams developer Media Molecule laid off 20 employees in late October.
In November, Amazon Games laid off 180 staff members, Ubisoft laid off more than 100 employees, Bungie laid off roughly 100 developers, and 505 Games’ parent company, Digital Bros, laid off 30% of its staff.
In December, Embracer Group closed its reformed TimeSplitters studio, Free Radical Design, and earlier in the 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, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering owner Hasbro laid off 1,100 employees.
The games industry will surely feel the effects of such horrific layoffs for years to come. The hearts of the Game Informer staff are with everyone who’s been affected by layoffs or closures.