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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

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.

Read this next

Overkill's The Walking Dead Canceled on Consoles, PC Support Ending

That which was once dead truly dies again.

Starbreeze Told Devs Walking Dead E3 Demo Was a Hit Despite Nobody Wanting to Play It

"You can't solve an issue if you don't admit you have one."

Nintendo Says There is No Switch Exchange Program

Nintendo of America denies last week's reports of Switch exchanges.

What's The Best Video Game Spaceship?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | In honor of No Man's Sky Beyond, let's look back on the coolest spaceships around.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

More News

Nintendo Says There is No Switch Exchange Program

Nintendo of America denies last week's reports of Switch exchanges.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

More on PC

What's The Best Video Game Spaceship?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | In honor of No Man's Sky Beyond, let's look back on the coolest spaceships around.

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

"Stop Asking 'Is It Political?' and Start Asking Instead About the Actual Politics of Each Game"

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Also, the things studios of all sizes do to survive, and what happens when that's not enough.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is Axing the Damage Stacking

No more stacking up those auras.

Epic Isn't Budging On Fortnite's Mechs, Despite Player Protests

The massive machines of destruction seem like they're here to stay.

No Man’s Sky Base Building (Beyond Update 2019)

Everything you need to know about Base Building in No Man’s Sky.

More FPS Games

Halo Infinite's Creative Director Leaves 343 Industries

This week sees a leadership shake-up for Microsoft's big launch title.

Classic Doom Ports No Longer Require Bethesda Net Login to Play

That login screen should be fully optional now.

Call of Duty Mobile Release Date - Android, iOS, Battle Royale Details

This is our guide on Call of Duty Mobile, including the release date, platforms including Android and iOS, battle royale details, and more.