The labor market climate in the games industry is wild. Last month, companies around the world laid off at least 773 employees, with the total number of job cuts this year nearly equaling all of 2023.

Games industry saw almost as many layoffs in first five months of 2024 as it did in all of last year

Hi-Fi Rush

According to the Game Industry Layoffs project, the largest layoffs last month occurred at Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs — 162 people. According to one of the former employees, the decision was made by its owner, blockchain company Forte, which reportedly acquired the studio last year for an undisclosed sum.

136 people also lost their jobs due to the closure of Gameloft’s office in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (it had been in operation for 14 years).

In news that everyone probably heard of, Microsoft decided to shut down four studios, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin. The company didn’t disclose how many people were affected, but Game Industry Layoffs estimates the job cuts at Tango and Arkane Austin at around 150 and 60 employees, respectively.

Below are the largest layoffs that occurred in 2024 so far:

  • Microsoft — 2,150 people (1,900 employees in January, plus the recent studio closures and layoffs at Bethesda);
  • Unity — 1,800 people (laid off as part of its ongoing restructuring);
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment — 900 people, including the closure of London Studio and cuts at Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, and Guerrilla Games;
  • Electronic Arts — 670 people (the second round of mass layoffs in the last 12 months in addition to last year’s 775 job cuts);
  • Take-Two Interactive — 600 people, also reducing its office footprint and shutting down several game projects (plus an undisclosed number of job cuts made at Gearbox).

Since the beginning of 2024, roughly 10,200 games industry professionals have lost their jobs. For comparison, Game Industry Layoffs estimates the total for all of 2023 at 10,500 people. Keep in mind that both numbers may actually be higher, as not all companies disclose such information and some estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of official data.

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