Avakin Life developer Lockwood to lose 15% of staff in new round of redundancies

Lockwood Publishing, the company behind the mobile metaverse game Avakin Life, has announced that some of its employees will be made redundant. 

During a company meeting yesterday, Lockwood CEO Halli Bjornsson explained that the developer “must adjust and adapt how we operate” due to 2022’s worsening economic conditions. He went on to say that the company had reviewed “office space, licensing charges and headcount” and that it will restructure its operations. This is despite the fact the company received $25 million in investment capital from Tencent back in November 2020. 

It is currently estimated by the company that at least 29 employees will be made redundant, which is about 15% of Lockwood’s workforce. Some staff members will be moved to new or open positions on projects in development, instead of being let go. 

“Where we are unable to find a suitable role for impacted staff, should redundancies become necessary, we are committed to providing as much support as we can for those affected and to making this process as transparent as possible for everyone.” said Bjornsson. 

This will be the second time Lockwood Publishing has had to let people go within the last 12 months, as the company made 10% of staff redundant back in December 2021. At the time, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain called those layoffs unlawful due to a lack of collective consultations or fair and transparent processes. 

Lockwood claims that it responded to feedback from the IWGB Union quickly, and was soon asked about it by GamesIndustry.biz. 

“Early into that process, the IWGB Union requested we restart our consultation process to consult with the whole company rather than with individuals; we welcomed their suggestion, and acted on it straight away, restarting the process. Some of you going through the process will know that we’ve been happy to have Union representatives to sit in on one-to-one consultation meetings.” said Bjornsson at the time.

“Some of our team have raised questions about whether we could use our investment to avoid redundancies. We cannot do this. In order to thrive into the future, we have to build a sustainable, profitable and successful business, and sadly that means reducing our team. I am really sorry to see team members leave Lockwood, and I know this period will be hard for those leaving, and unsettling for those staying. The tough decisions we take are to safeguard the future of our business, and to secure the roles of as many people at Lockwood as possible.”

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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