UPDATE: Writers and narrative designers laid off at Love Island developer Fusebox Games – studio to ‘migrate to a more agile co-development approach’

It’s become apparent in the last 24 hours that a number of staff, largely writers and narrative designers, have moved on from London-based Fusebox Games, the developer for Love Island: The Game. Seemingly as part of a restructure to a more co-development approach. 

Courtney Byrne and Maria Chaudhary, both narrative designers working with the company, tweeted that they were looking for new opportunities. As was Hannah Powell Smith, a narrative designer with two years at the company. And Ben Kaestner-Frenchman was also looking for new opportunities according to his twitter account, after almost two years working with company, full-time for the last seven months. Fiona Sangster and Anna Winterstein also appeared to have parted ways with the developer.

It’s not clear at present if some or all were on temporary contracts. 

Obviously companies do sometimes have to reduce headcount at the end of major projects, but there’s no statement from Fusebox at present as to the situation and what its plans are for the future without what appears to be a large number of its writing and narrative team in recent times. The timing seems particularly sharp as the new season of Love Island is launching on TV. At present the company does not seem to be hiring new staff.

Fusebox reached out in reply to our story with this statement: 

“Fusebox is currently consulting with its employees on a proposed change to its business model which would see it migrate to a more agile co-development approach which has been successful during the production phase of its new Matchmaker: Puzzles & Stories game. The Company will be in a position to communicate more details upon the conclusion of this consultation. The Company will continue to do everything it can to support its employees during this process.”

We wish all those affected the very best in finding new work. 


About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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