Bloomberg reports that Fortnite developer Epic Games is expected to lay off 16 percent of its workforce.
In a statement from Tim Sweeney, Epic has confirmed the layoffs will impact around 830 employees. He wrote that the company intends to sell Bandcamp — an independent music storefront company Epic acquired just last year — to music licensing platform Songtradr and spin off SuperAwesome, a “kid-tech” company that specializes in creating safe online experiences for kids. He also explains that the layoffs are a result of the company “spending way more money than we earn.” Notably, Sweeney does not apologize to his employees for making the business decisions that have resulted in the disruption of over 800 lives, saying only that his “optimism” that such spending would not result in layoffs was “unrealistic.”
There were rumors that Epic was expected to implement layoffs this year. According to Verge reporter Alex Heath, the company was seeking investment and speculated layoffs as a means to reduce expenses might make it easier to raise funds.
It’s been a rough few months for the video game industry. After a spate of high-profile acquisitions, including buying The Lord of the Rings IP rights, Embracer Group canceled multiple projects, shuttered an entire studio, and may sell off another after a $2 billion investment deal fell through. Activision Blizzard has recently laid off employees in its Hearthstone division after laying off employees in its esports department earlier this year.
BioWare has also experienced layoffs, including longtime employees notable for their contributions to foundational games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Even earlier today, Sega announced that it has canceled live-service shooter Hyenas before the game’s launch and that layoffs are expected at the game’s developer Creative Assembly.
Now, with Epic’s layoffs expected to impact a staggering amount of people, the video game job market is looking to be as tight as it’s ever been.
Update September 28th 11:57 A.M. ET: Added confirmed information from Epic Games.
Update September 28th 3:35 P.M. ET: Added information that Songtradr would acquire Bandcamp from Epics.