Blackbird Interactive is another game studio that has been recently hit with job cuts. It appears that the Homeworld 3 developer has laid off dozens of people, including some senior staff.
Update: Blackbird Interactive eventually confirmed the layoffs in a statement to IGN: “This year has been incredibly tough on the industry as a whole. As a result, we’ve had several unannounced projects canceled and yesterday were forced to say goodbye to 41 of our team members.” The company noted that it will offer “a suit of extended benefits and severance” to those affected by the job cuts and will continue to work on already announced titles.
The job cuts at Blackbird Interactive were reported by several current and former employees on LinkedIn. According to technical artist James Marshall, the company “dismissed over 40 people.”
“It’s an interesting time in the games industry right now, and it’s proving tough to navigate for even well-seasoned studios,” game director
It is worth noting that Duffy joined Blackbird in January 2022 after 24 years at Relic Entertainment. He was one of the designers of the first Homeworld, game director of Company of Heroes 2, and also served as design director of Age of Empires IV.
The list of Blackbird employees affected by the layoffs includes
Blackbird Interactive hasn’t publicly announced the layoffs, so the reasons behind them remain unclear. Prior to the cuts, the company employed around 300 people.
Founded in 2007 by former Relic Entertainment and EA Canada devs, Blackbird Interactive released its debut game, RTS Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, in 2016. It became possible due to a partnership with publisher Gearbox, which acquired the rights for the Homeworld IP for $1.35 million.
The Canadian studio is also known for space work sim Hardspace: Shipbreaker and Minecraft Legends (co-developed with Mojang). Right now, Blackbird is working on several titles, including roguelike deckbuilder Earthless and Homeworld 3. The latter remains the company’s mian project, but has already been delayed numerous times and is currently expected to come out in February 2024.