Black Forest Games, the studio behind the recent Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2 remakes, has reportedly laid off about 50 people. This news comes from Kotaku, which learned from a source with knowledge of the situation that these layoffs were announced yesterday, January 24, and that more information about them would be provided next week.
Game Informer has reached out to Black Forest Games and will update this story if it learns more.
Kotaku writes that its source says creative directors and most, “if not all,” of the managers at Black Forest Games will keep their jobs following the layoffs. At approximately 110 employees as of last year, 50 job cuts would equate to a roughly 50 percent reduction in staff at the studio.
Last August, publisher THQ Nordic, which is owned by Embracer Group, revealed that Black Forest Games was developing a game based on the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles graphic novel, The Last Ronin. It’s unclear if these layoffs will affect its development.
These job cuts join a string of other disheartening 2024 layoffs, which total more than 5,500 in just the first 25 days of the year. Microsoft is laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams, Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees this week, and League of Legends company Riot Games laid off 530 employees this week, too.
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.
In January of last year, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees amidst its ongoing $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which it completed in October.
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.