Gaming

Playful Studios ‘significantly’ reduces full-time headcount



New Super Lucky’s Tale developer, Playful Studios, has been forced to reduce its full-time staff.

In an emotional statement on the studio’s website (thanks, ResetEra via MyNintendoNews), co-founders Paul and Katy Drake Bettner said the studio will be “pivoting to a more streamlined production model based on distributed game development and dynamic, project-based teams” and said it was an “incredibly difficult decision” that left them “truly heartbroken”.

The co-founders also pledged to “[work] closely with each person affected by this transition to help them move forward”, but did not specify how many people have been affected by the cut backs. 

“Since 2012, we have had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with some of the most talented developers in our industry, to create unique, beloved IP, and cherished original games,” said a joint statement from Paul and Katy Drake Bettner. “We’ve created and shipped multiple titles on a range of platforms to millions of players worldwide, and we are incredibly proud of the work our teams have accomplished along the way. During this time we have taken significant risks to grow our studio, we’ve dared to dream big, and we’ve worked hard to pursue these amazing opportunities together with our friends.

“Continued changes in the global video game marketplace require Playful to evolve its approach to the development and production of our current and future projects. The studio will be pivoting to a more streamlined production model based on distributed game development and dynamic, project-based teams.

“As part of this transition in our operating model, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to significantly reduce our full-time staff, effective today,” the statement concluded. “We are truly heartbroken to be parting ways with many of our friends and colleagues. These are people who have poured their hearts into every game Playful has created, who have supported us and each other every step of the way, and have truly made this studio what it is today. We will be working closely with each person affected by this transition to help them move forward.”

These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen across studios in recent months, most recently Perfect World, Fantasy Flight Interactive, Gameloft, Amazon Game Studios and PayDay developer, Starbreeze

Other recent layoffs and closures include Iron Tiger Studios, ArenaNet, Next Games, Forgotten Key, Define Human Studios, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds. Telltale Games also laid off the majority of its staff in a studio closure back in September 2018.

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