The number of staff affected by the impending layoffs at German developer Goodgame Studios are likely to be higher than originally expected.
A member of the team reached out to Develop with further details and clarifications after we reported that up to 100 employees could be let go as part of a major studio restructure.
Firstly, we previously reported that Goodgame was setting up a fund to reimburse expats who had to relocate when they were hired. This is not the case – instead, Goodgame is planning to reimburse up to 50 per cent of the costs for people that have to expatriate outside of the EU following the layoffs. Those moving within the EU will receive less, while those staying in Germany will receive nothing.
Our source tells us the original claim that layoffs would be kept to “a low triple-digit number” – i.e. up to 100 people – has since been changed to “greater than a hundred, but less than 600”.
Plans to reduce the company to one office campus means that at least 200 people would need to be let go, with our source saying Goodgame were “nearly breaking fire regulations” given the number of people working across its branches.
Any employees that moved to Hamburg within the past six months are automatically being let go, and are ineligible for unemployment in Germany. This affects over 40 employees from as far out as the US and Korea.
Fortunately, our source says the studio’s “culture of great inter-personal support” means various Goodgame employees are doing their utmost to help their colleagues out. Some are even offering to accommodate those who have been automatically laid off in their homes until they can sort out visas or further employment.
In fact, the Goodgame member that we spoke to remains positive about the company’s culture in general, explaining that both the HR department and Employee Council have been “absolute stars” in helping the staffers affect by this.
"The situation is far grimmer than the press release," our source told Developer. "The official statement glosses over a lot, but what it boils down to is that to save face, management chose to conceal the trouble, even to go so far as let hiring continue for people that would end up at the mercy of the German state with no recourse to unemployment.
"Under them though, at every echelon, was a supportive, thriving community of people passionate about this industry and their work."