Outriders and Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly has reportedly laid off more than 30 staff members as job losses continue to devastate the video game industry.
People Can Fly confirmed it suffered job losses after Kotaku learned more than 30 staff working on the upcoming Project Gemini had been laid off. A further 20 staff working on the game, which is being created in partnership with Square Enix, were moved to other projects within 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,” development director Adam Alker said in an email to staff.
“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.”
The Polish developer released Bulletstorm VR earlier in 2024 , Green Hell VR in 2022, and Outriders in 2021. This cooperative looter shooter was also published by Square Enix and launched to lukewarm reviews.
People Can Fly has a handful of other projects in development but the major changes to Project Gemini, which was announced in 2023 and due to launch in 2026, could affect its release. Anonymous sources told Kotaku that its campaign would be shorter and enemy roster would be smaller due to a reduced budget.
The brutal video game industry lay-offs which tarnished 2023 have crept into 2024 too. Today, January 25, IGN learned Microsoft is cutting a colossal 1,900 positions from its video game workforce.
Industry layoffs are among the worst in history, with myriad other studios of all sizes affected. Dreams’ Media Molecule, Cyberpunk 2077’s CD Projekt Red, F1 Manager’s Frontier Developments, and Assassin’s Creed’s Ubisoft all suffered layoffs. Destiny 2 developer Bungie was also affected, causing a “soul crushing” atmosphere at the studio that IGN learned about in an investigative report.
Colossal companies like Embracer, who owns the likes of Borderlands developer Gearbox Software and Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, Fortnite publisher Epic Games, and Dungeons & Dragons owner Hasbro also saw sweeping job losses. Embracer laid off 5% of its workforce, amassing to 904 staff in total, Epic laid off 16%, or 830 employees, and Hasbro cut close to 20%, meaning around 1,100 staff.
Entire studios were also closed, including Embracer’s Campfire Cabal and Saints Row developer Volition Games, plus the studio behind TimeSplittlers Free Radical.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale