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Layoffs at H1Z1 developer Daybreak Games

H1Z1 developer Daybreak Games has made further redundancies after "optimising" its structure.

In its second shake-up this year, Daybreak boss John Smedley acknowledged around 70 people had lost their jobs via Twitter, but has subsequently deleted those tweets.

"We are optimising our structure to ensure we best position ourselves for continued success in the years to come," the studio confirmed in a statement to Gamasutra (thanks, Eurogamer). "This effort has required us to make some changes within the organisation and we are doing everything we can to support those impacted in this difficult time.

"As we look to improve efficiencies and realign resources, we remain focused on supporting our existing games and development of our future titles."

The industry has rallied around those affected, and the hashtag #daybreakjobs is seeking to connect developers with openings elsewhere.

This latest closure sadly comes on the back of several closures and cutbacks we’ve seen throughout the year, most recently Starbreeze, Bandai Namco Vancouver, and Trion Worlds, best known for its MMO games. The media too has been affected, with the shuttering of leading strategy guides publisher Prima Games and Future’s GamesMaster and games™ magazines.

Telltale Games laid off the majority of its staff in a ‘majority studio closure’ back in September. 25 employees remained at the company, though most projects have reportedly been cancelled, and subsequent reports suggest even the skeleton crew have now been let go. The layoffs were confirmed via a tweet on the official Telltale Games account, blaming a year ‘marked by insurmountable challenges’ for the decision.

A former Telltale Games employee subsequently launched a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming it violated California’s WARN Act in not giving those fired at least 60 days notice before termination. The case was brought by Vernie Roberts, Jr. and is on behalf of all those impacted by Telltale’s redundancies. Telltale is alleged to have failed to adhere to a number of its financial commitments to employees, including salaries, bonuses, commissions, holiday pay and more for the 60 days following terminations.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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