Further negative news on the faltering game company Embracer: The corporation has stated that Fishlabs, the company that developed Chorus, is laying off about fifty staff. Additionally, it is apparently considering shutting TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design entirely.
Fishlabs is most renowned for the critically acclaimed “sentient starfighter” simulation Chorus, but it also contributed to the recent releases of Dead Island 2, Saints Row: Remastered, and Valheim on the Xbox. The parent firm Plaion, one of Embracer’s internal divisions, stated it was unable to get money for the project and was consequently obliged to terminate it and lay off personnel. Project Black was the name given to the secret game it was working on. Working on “existing co-development projects” with other Embracer studios will be the responsibility of the remaining Fishlabs staff members.
Lars Janssen, vice president of Plaion, stated in a statement.
Together, we are going through a difficult time. Every person at our Fishlabs studio has contributed not just their abilities but also their enthusiasm and devotion to every project, making them more than just team members; they have been an essential part of our creative journey. We really appreciate all of their effort and love that they have put into our joint projects. This difficult choice is not a reflection on our team’s extraordinary abilities or efforts, but rather of the larger difficulties facing the game industry.”
Then, according to VGC, Plaion will have to consult employees for a minimum of 30 days before making any redundancies, including exploring ways of avoiding them, as mandated by UK employment legislation. This might hint that the studio will be purchased by a different entity instead of being shut down completely.
Regretfully, it seems that a large number of workers at Free Radical Design have already expressed a desire to find other employment. Among the 100 employees of the studio, more than 55 stated on LinkedIn that they were looking for new possibilities.
Bad Luck for Employees in the Gaming Business
For those employed in the gaming business, 2023 has been a terrible year as developers and publishers of all stripes have let go of employees in startling numbers. Workers at Embracer have been particularly badly hit: Beamdog, Zen, Cryptic, Crystal Dynamics, and other companies have laid off staff, and Volition and Campfire Cabal have closed completely as a result of the failure of a $2 billion mystery deal in May. Perhaps more is still to come: Despite the fact that the firm had “stable performance and improved cashflow” in the most recent quarter, according to the CEO of Embracer, the financial advantages of the company’s restructuring program are still “mainly ahead of us.”
This information comes after Embracer Group confirmed that it had let go of 904 employees, or 5% of its total workforce after its $2 billion agreement with the Saudi government-backed Savvy Games Group apparently fell through. It also cautioned that there could be more layoffs in the works, with this studio perhaps suffering the most.