Starbreeze Hit With Massive Layoffs as It Fights for Long-Term Survival

Starbreeze Hit With Massive Layoffs as It Fights for Long-Term Survival

The Swedish developer will layoff 60 employees by the end of the year.

Struggling video game developer Starbreeze has announced it will layoff 60 employees out of its team of 240. The company says this will help it remain operational as it works to become profitable.

The layoffs are expected to be fully implemented in November and will save the company about 3 million SEK a month (or ~$317,000 USD). The company says it is in a "challenging financial situation" and as such will focus attention on its core business, namely game development and publishing.

We reached out to Starbreeze to ask which departments will be affected and what compensation laid off employees can expect. An anonymous Starbreeze source revealed to Eurogamer that the company is proceeding with the layoffs according to Swedish law, and that laid off employees are being assisted with their portfolios and are being connected to other companies.

"In the past six months we have made a number of changes to the business following our strategy to focus on the core business. We have divested some operations that we consider non-core and we now have to look inward to make the core business more efficient," Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark said in a statement.

Starbreeze has been in reconstruction since December 2018 after the release of Overkill's The Walking Dead. The failure of such a massive, and expensive, game contributed significantly to Starbreeze's current financial predicament.

Starbreeze also sunk money into opening overseas game studios and investing heavily into unreleased VR technology, two areas that Starbreeze has divested itself from in recent months. Based on today's news, it sounds as though Starbreeze is focusing on internal game development and publishing, though a report from Eurogamer suggests a buyout might also be necessary.

Starbreeze rose to prominence thanks to games like Payday and Payday 2, but severe managerial missteps have brought down the Swedish developer to life-support status. The fate of the studio is still unclear.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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