Layoffs hit a Gearbox studio.

Some staffers at Lost Boys Interactive, a studio that has worked on games like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and Diablo IV, have been laid off, as reported by Aftermath.

One former producer said on LinkedIn that the layoffs affected a “sizable portion” of Lost Boys Interactive; Aftermath says the company had employed more than 400 people. We spotted a Washington State WARN Act notice that says 125 workers are affected companywide.

A screenshot from Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Image: Gearbox Software

Instagram’s latest job cuts reportedly affect around 60 workers.

Reports from Business Insider and The Information say the impacted employees were technical program managers at Instagram. They will reportedly have until March to apply for a new role within the company.

Meta made cuts across the company last year, but it seems job cuts are continuing into 2024. Google, Discord, Twitch, and Unity all announced layoffs this month, too.

Audible is laying off 5 percent of its staff.

After laying off hundreds of employees at Twitch and Prime Video, Amazon is cutting staff at its audiobook and podcast platform, Audible. According to a memo obtained by Business Insider, Audible CEO Bob Corrigan said that the cuts were made “to position us for continued success in the coming year and into the future” and it’s really not worth finishing the quote, because you know the drill by now. Variety reports that the cuts will include more than 100 staffers, but will not impact the content teams.

Discord is laying off 17 percent of employeesIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Discord is laying off 17 percent of its staff, a move that CEO Jason Citron said is meant to “sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization.”

The cuts were announced today to employees in an all-hands meeting and internal memo I’ve obtained. They’ll impact 170 people across various departments. 

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Google confirms it just laid off around a thousand employeesIllustration: The Verge

Turns out Google’s postpandemic reckoning didn’t just hit the Google Hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit products — it’s taken similarly sized bites out of Google’s core engineering and Google Assistant teams too. Google just confirmed to The Verge that it’s eliminated “a few hundred” roles in each of these divisions, meaning Google has confirmed layoffs of around a thousand employees on Wednesday alone, if we use a reasonable definition of “few.”

And those are only the cuts we know about. We asked Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini to say if this was the complete and total number of job cuts in this round of layoffs, but she stopped replying at that point, only confirming existing layoff reports at 9to5Google and Semafor. The New York Times reported on the engineering team layoffs too.

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Hundreds of Amazon Prime Video and MGM Studios workers are being laid off.

It’s not clear exactly how many Amazon Prime Video and MGM Studios workers are being fired just ten days into the new year, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the layoffs are coming, and the number in the hundreds.

In a statement about the firings, division head Mike Hopkins described the move as being meant to increase “our investment and focus on content and product initiatives that deliver the most impact.”

Humane lays off 4 percent of employees before releasing its AI PinThe Humane AI pin retails for $699 and requires a $24 per month subscription. Image: Humane

Humane laid off 4 percent of employees this week in a move that was described as a cost cutting measure to those who were impacted, according to sources familiar with the matter. Employees were recently told by leadership that budgets would be lowered this year, said one of the people, who requested anonymity to speak without the company’s permission.

The cuts, which numbered 10 people, come ahead of the five-year-old startup shipping its first device: a $699, screenless, AI-powered pin that is pitched as a smartphone replacement. After a lot of hype and secrecy, Humane unveiled the AI Pin to the world in November and began accepting preorders, with shipments planned to begin in March.

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Twitch is reportedly planning to lay off 35 percent of its staff.

The Amazon-owned game streaming platform could lay off around 500 workers as soon as Wednesday, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Twitch laid off dozens of workers as part of Amazon’s company-wide cuts last year, and it recently shut down its service in South Korea due to “prohibitively expensive” costs.

Unity is laying off 25 percent of its staffIllustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

Unity is undergoing yet another layoff, and this time it’s going to affect about 25 percent of its entire workforce, or around 1,800 employees. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company, which makes the popular game engine Unity, said it’s making the cuts “as it restructures and refocuses on its core business, and to position itself for long-term and profitable growth.”

Unity has been through several rounds of layoffs within the past year, with the most recent one affecting 265 workers last November. However, it’s still not clear whether Unity is cutting 1,800 additional workers on top of the layoffs it announced last year. We’ve reached out to Unity for clarification.

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2023’s great games were overshadowed by a dark cloud of layoffsThe Verge / Photos via Getty Images

Layoffs are an unfortunate reality of any industry, but the scope and scale of video game layoffs in 2023 are far beyond a typical year. More than any specific video game or piece of news, layoffs defined the past 12 months. Companies large and small have felt their impact. Unofficial figures estimate 9,000 workers have been affected, and at the heart of it all are corporations that valued growth at all costs — including people.

In September, Epic Games laid off 830 employees. In a statement, CEO Tim Sweeney wrote, “We’ve been spending way more money than we earn. […] I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.” Some of that spending was on companies like SuperAwesome and Bandcamp which Epic bought in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Both companies were sold off shortly after Epic announced layoffs. 

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What do Houston, Nashville, and Dallas have in common?

It’s not just that you’re more likely to come across cowboy boots in those places. They’re also increasingly home to technology workers as demand for their skills comes from more companies in more industries in more cities.

The Wall Street Journal hits that and other factors leading to the shrinkage — both in percentage and absolute figures — of the tech workforce in former strongholds of the industry like the Bay Area and New York City.

A $2 million dollar investment yesterday, layoffs today.

The devastation of 2023’s great video game layoff continues. Today, Versus Evil, a publisher focusing on indie games including The Banner Saga and Pillars of Eternity II, announced that it’s closing — days before the Christmas holidays.

Lance James, head of production at Versus Evil, wrote that the closure “wasn’t a Versus Evil decision or choice” meaning the decision was likely handed down from parent company and Hello Neighbor publisher tinyBuild. Earlier this month, tinyBuild reported impending layoffs in the face of what it called an “incredibly challenging year.” It also received a $2 million dollars investment from Atari just yesterday.

Etsy is cutting around 225 jobs.

In a memo obtained by CNBC, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman told employees that the handmade marketplace is laying off 11 percent of workers. Silverman cites a “challenging macro and competitive environment,” adding that gross merchandise sales “has remained essentially flat since 2021.”

Unity is probably going to do layoffsIllustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

In its Q3 earnings report published Thursday, game development software company Unity announced that it will “likely” be implementing layoffs as part of broader cost saving measures.

In the report, the company says it is assessing its product portfolio “to focus on those products that are most valuable to our customers” and is “evaluating the right cost structure that aligns with the more focused portfolio.” It plans to make changes during the fourth quarter, and they will “likely include discontinuing certain product offerings, reducing our workforce, and reducing our office footprint.” The company expects to complete its changes before the end of Q1 2024.

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Ubisoft lays off dozens of workers as gaming industry struggles drag onImage: Ubisoft

Ubisoft, the game publisher behind franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, is laying off 124 employees at its visual effects studio and on its global IT team.

Hybride — the name of Ubisoft’s Montreal-based visual effects studio — has worked on several big-name projects, including Ahsoka, The Mandalorian, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Beau Is Afraid, and more. Of the 124 impacted workers, Ubisoft spokesperson Antoine Leduc-Labelle says 98 people are based in Canada, making up less than 2 percent of the company’s workforce in the country. (Ubisoft has studios in Montreal, Quebec City, Chicoutimi, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Sherbrooke.) Leduc-Labelle adds that this doesn’t affect Ubisoft’s production teams.

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Google’s postpandemic ‘reckoning’This week, Shailesh Prakash, the VP in charge of Google News, gathered his hundreds of employees to talk about a surprise round of layoffs that had just hit the team. 

A year ago, cuts like this at Google — historically the most coddling employer in all of Big Tech — would have been unthinkable. But market forces have a way of catching up with everyone. In January, the search giant conducted its first mass layoff in over a decade, cutting 6 percent of its staff, or about 12,000 people. Last month, hundreds of recruiters were let go, a concrete sign that hiring targets have been reduced significantly. 

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The Google News team just got a little smaller.

Google reportedly laid off between 40 and 45 employees in its news division this week. CNBC reported the layoff, citing an Alphabet Workers Union spokesperson and a confirmation from Google itself.

According to CNBC, the Google spokesperson said the team still employs hundreds of people. The job cuts are part of an ongoing trend in the tech world, including larger layoffs at Google earlier this year.

Job cuts hit Qualcomm.

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm has become the latest tech giant to conduct layoffs, eliminating 1,258 positions in its San Diego and Santa Clara offices, roughly 2.5 percent of its global workforce.

The layoffs were foreshadowed in the company’s last earnings report, where it blamed “the continued uncertainty in the macroeconomic and demand environment.” The cuts are expected to take place in mid-December and primarily affect engineers.

Telltale Games laid off staff — but it’s unclear how many jobs were cut.

As reported by Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter, Telltale says it let “some” of its team go “due to current market conditions,” though all games in development are “still in production.”

Earlier on Thursday, a person who says they used to work at Telltale claimed the company laid “most of us off” in early September.

Update October 5th, 8:52PM ET: I reached out to Telltale to try and get details about how many were laid off, but Telltale spokesperson Elizabeth Olson declined to share that.

Naughty Dog is reportedly the latest studio to cut developer jobsImage: Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog is reportedly cutting some of its contracted staff. According to a Kotaku report, the Sony-owned studio is not renewing the contracts of around 25 temporary workers across numerous departments, with quality assurance staff primarily affected. Full-time staff were apparently not impacted.

Naughty Dog is one of the jewels in Sony’s first-party crown, developing platform-exclusive hits like The Last of Us and the Uncharted series. Back in January, a live-action interpretation of The Last of Us debuted on HBO to critical and social acclaim, but apparently, that popularity has not been enough to support continued development on its Last of Us multiplayer project.

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Worms publisher Team17 loses its CEO, starts “period of consultation” ahead of restructuring.

Eurogamer and VG247 report a Team17 spokesperson confirms CEO Michael Pattison, who joined the company two years ago after leaving PlayStation, is out. In 2022, Team17 was one of the companies that announced plans for an NFT project, before backtracking.

In response to rumors of plans for layoffs with “tens of redundancies,” the statement says:

We can also confirm that we have sadly entered into a period of consultation today within Team17 Digital, with Astragon and Storytoys remaining unaffected by the restructuring plans.

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