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Over 6,000 games industry jobs lost in 2023 so far

September was the worst month for layoffs, new data shows

Over 6,100 gaming jobs have been lost so far over the past year due to layoffs and studio closures, according to new data.

As spotted by GamesBeat, technical artist Farhan Noor has been tracking layoff numbers since the beginning of 2023 on videogameslayoffs.com.

The tracked information includes the estimated number of employees let go, which some companies have not disclosed so the actual number of jobs lost is likely much higher.

According to Noor's data, September was the worst month for layoffs in the games industry with 17 companies cutting jobs — the highest so far this year.

The reasons 2023 has been such a terrible year for redundancies varies substantially. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, analysts, recruiters, and investors cited the current economic climate as the leading factor, including high interest rates, slowed growth, rising production costs, and increased competition as just some of the reasons why layoffs have become so frequent.

Over 80 gaming companies and media sites have been hit with layoffs so far (the full list can be read below). There have also been 11 studio shutdowns this year including Calypte, Dang, Puny Human, Volition Games, Mimimi Games, Vanpool, CyberConnect2 Montreal, Antimatter Games, Campfire Cabal, Kiloo Games, and PixelOpus.

Embracer Group issued the most rounds of layoffs at seven across its subsidiaries following a restructuring program, with affected studios including Crystal Dynamics, Beamdog, Rainbow Studios, Volition, Gearbox Publishing, and Campfire Cabal.

The highest number of employees affected by layoffs in one parent company was Unity at 900, which saw two rounds of layoffs this year with 600 employees laid off in January and nearly 300 people let go in May.

Epic Games followed close behind, having laid off 830 employees last month with British studio Mediatonic among them. Amazon also saw a high number of employees terminated from Twitch following a round of layoffs earlier in the year followed by another last week.

An unknown number of games people were affected by mass redundancies at larger firms that operate in other industries, such as 10,000 at Microsoft (including Bethesda Game Studios and 343 Industries), 21,000 at Meta, 7,000 at Disney, and 9,000 at Amazon.

Layoffs this year have included:

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Sophie McEvoy avatar

Sophie McEvoy

Staff Writer

Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at GamesIndustry.biz. She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.