The good, the bad and the games-y

There are many more layoffs, but some companies are getting a fresh start.

The good, the bad and the games-y
image via Pixabay

It’s a week of big changes in the gaming landscape. While some companies are experiencing more labor cuts, others are finding fresh beginnings. Here’s the latest.

Layoffs continue to hit the games industry hard

It was another big week for layoffs across the games industry. We will break it down by company:

PlayStation lays off 900 employees

image via Pixabay

This equates to 8% of PlayStation’s workforce. The news came from President & CEO Jim Ryan in a post on the Sony blog. Ryan says multiple studios will feel the crunch including Insomniac and Naughty Dog, while their London Studio will close entirely. 

Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios said the company is reevaluating how they operate.  From his blog post:

PlayStation 5 is in its fourth year, and we are at a stage where we need to step back and look at what our business needs.  At the same time, our industry has experienced continuing and fundamental change which affects how we all create, and play, games. …Delivering the immersive, narrative-driven stories that PlayStation Studios is known for, at the quality bar that we aspire to, requires a re-evaluation of how we operate.

As part of the layoffs, Sony reportedly canceled a Twisted Metal live service game along with other unannounced projects.

Electronic Arts lays off 600 employees

EA plans to lay off 5% of their workforce in a round of cuts announced last week. EA CEO Andrew Wilson wrote in a memo:

As a company full of creators and storytellers, we believe in the value of teams innovating together, and continue to learn and adopt new ways of collaborating to grow and serve our global communities.
We are also sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry. This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities — including our owned IP, sports, and massive online communities — to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow.

One of the games cancelled by EA was a Star Wars first-person shooter.

Other layoffs:

A New Start

Crash Bandicoot

While some studios are facing layoffs, a few are getting a fresh start.

GTA 6 recreated in Minecraft

💻 Epic Games was reportedly hacked by a group called Mogilevich. The hackers stole 189 gigabytes of information including "email, passwords, full name, payment information, source code." But, is it possible they faked the whole thing?

💰 Nintendo sues creators of the emulator Yuzu for piracy on a “colossal scale.” How strong is their case?

 With games axed, declining payouts and disillusioned studios, Apple Arcade’s future seems uncertain.

🧱 Rockstar is reportedly mandating employees return to the office due to Grand Theft Auto 6 security concerns. Meanwhile, the GTA 6 trailer was recreated in Minecraft.

🧒🏼 A recent study shows that kids face bullying over in-game items and skins.

📚 More libraries are adding tabletop games to their collection, saying “All the benefits of reading also apply to board games.”

🗓️ Nintendo’s new Switch is reportedly delayed until March 2025 to avoid shortages and holiday scalping.

👃🏽 A new device called GameScent allows players to smell their game. Games journalist Jeff Gerstmann tried it and gave his thoughts on the device.

🦈 Roblox has an official Jaws game.

🎮 Octopath Traveler was delisted on the Nintendo eShop.

🙂 A new tabletop RPG based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will launch later this year, and a board game is also on the way.

💿 Japanese versions of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s physical edition had the two discs that include the game mislabeled.

🎮 Nvidia’s free-tier GeForce Now will soon show ads while you’re waiting to play.

💵 Tekken 8 adds cosmetic microtransactions, and some fans aren’t happy.

🧢 Four years after leaving Asmodee, board game company Plaid Hat Games is finally free to do things its own way.

🔮 Everything announced during Pokémon Day 2024’s Pokémon Presents.

💸 New release Balatro was pulled from sale in some countries due to an unexpected ratings change. The game is selling well, and reached profitability within its first hour of release.

New Releases this week:

Unicorn Overlord

Check out 10 New Games to Play in March

3/5: Quilts and Cats of Calico (PC)
3/5: The Outlast Trials (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
3/6: Hairdresser Simulator (PC)
3/7: Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley (Switch and PC)
3/7: Zoria: Age of Shattering (PC)
3/8: Unicorn Overlord (PlayStation, Xbox and Switch)
3/8: WWE 2K24 (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)

Thanks for reading. If you enjoy our newsletter, tell a friend to subscribe!