Z1 and PlanetSide Developer Daybreak Hit With Another Round of Layoffs

Z1 and PlanetSide Developer Daybreak Hit With Another Round of Layoffs

Daybreak Game Company had two rounds of layoffs last year.

Daybreak Game Company, developers of Z1 Battle Royale (formerly H1Z1: King of the Kill) and the PlanetSide series, laid off several of its employees late last week.

Daybreak recently launched PlanetSide Arena, a battle royale spin-off of the massively multiplayer online shooter, in Early Access on Steam. PlanetSide Arena suffered significant delays ahead of its PC early access debut and is slated for release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next year.

In a statement to Gamasutra, Daybreak confirmed the layoffs and announced it is reorganizing its remaining staff according to franchise responsibilities:

"We are taking steps to improve our business and to support our long-term vision for the existing franchises and development of new games. This will include a realignment of the company into separate franchise teams, which will allow us to highlight their expertise, better showcase the games they work on, and ultimately provide tailored experiences for our players. Unfortunately, some employees were impacted by this effort, and we're doing what we can to support them during this challenging time."

In 2018, Daybreak went through two rounds of layoffs—one in April, and another in December where the company laid off approximately 70 employees.

Former Daybreak employee Joshua Kriegshauer tweeted his sympathies for those affected on Friday, saying "lots of friends were affected." A handful of former employees have posted publicly about being laid off, but the number of people affected has yet to be confirmed.

Originally founded as Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak was split off as its own studio in 2015. In addition to PlanetSide Arena, Daybreak currently operates Z1 Battle Royale, PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online, and the EverQuest games. Daybreak shut down the original survival mode of H1Z1 (renamed as Just Survive) a year ago. In 2016, Daybreak canceled development of EverQuest Next, which was planned as a full-fledged successor to the earlier MMO titles in the EverQuest series.

We will update this story if we receive more information.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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