Day of Infamy and the Insurgency series developer, New World Interactive, is the latest firm to be impacted by Embracer Group layoffs. Unverified reports circulated earlier today claiming Embracer Group had shut down the studio entirely; however, Saber Interactive, the parent company of New World, explained in an email to The Verge that the studio would still be operational.
Saber withheld the number and proportion of sacked employees. In an email to The Verge, head of public affairs Arman Teimouri stated,
“The New World Interactive subsidiary has undergone restructuring changes.” “Unfortunately, the studio has had layoffs as a result of this reorganization.”
Layoffs, Studio Closures, and Financial Setbacks Rock the Gaming Behemoth
The statement said that an effort was being made by the firm to reassign impacted staff to other departments within Saber Interactive and that Insurgency: Sandstorm and other undisclosed projects will continue to be developed. Project cancellations and layoffs at the Embracer-affiliated studios have caused havoc. A $2 billion investment, purportedly from the Saudi-owned Savvy Games Group, was reportedly thwarted earlier this year by the Swedish holding group after Embracer went on a purchasing spree, acquiring popular game franchises, game studios, Dark Horse Media, and the intellectual property rights to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Embracer declared that the company would undertake restructuring as soon as the purchase fell through, which included closing certain studios, terminating employees at others, and canceling several projects. The business has already closed Campfire Cabal, laid off employees at Crystal Dynamics and Beamdog, and closed Saints Row creator Volition Games. Additionally, the business may close TimeSplitters creator Free Radical Design and try to sell Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment. Not counting the layoffs at New World Interactive today, the firm has let go of nearly 900 workers overall.
The Embracer Group and, more importantly, its workers have had a disastrous year, and the layoffs at New World Interactive are the most recent in this trend. Following a phase of explosive expansion that saw the business grow into a respectable gaming behemoth a phase that included the 2020 acquisition of New World Interactive the abrupt collapse of a $2 billion investment deal in May sent the business into a tailspin that has led to extensive layoffs and the closure of studios.
Embracer previous layoffs
Embracer announced in November that it had reduced about 5% of its workforce worldwide or about 900 people. Since then, it has fired 50 more workers from Fishlabs, the company that developed Chorus, and an undisclosed number of people from New World Interactive. It is also reportedly considering closing Free Radical Design, the studio it reopened in 2021 to create a new TimeSplitters game.
However, the gaming industry as a whole has experienced an almost unprecedented amount of layoffs in 2023, affecting both tiny studios and major tech organizations. This isn’t limited to Embracer. The most recent instance was Tuesday, when Codemasters, an F1 developer, announced layoffs at Electronic Arts “to meet evolving business needs and priorities.”