Next Games, the Finnish studio behind mobile game The Walking Dead: Our World, has announced that it is laying off 26 staff after it reviewed "the cost structure of the company’s operations".
The decision comes after a consultation process – which took place in January – recommended the studio reduce its headcount from 143 people to 117, resulting in 26 layoffs before June 2019 in order to "implement a new organisational structure" (thanks, GI.biz).
The company notes that "while some positions will cease to exist in the organisation as part of the change, the company is also looking to hire key talent for certain specific positions during the first half of 2019". It is also looking to reduce development time for future games.
These latest layoffs sadly come on the back of several other closures and cutbacks we’ve seen in the last few months. Activision most recently laid off 8 per cent of its staff – 775 people – while South Korean online game publisher NCSoft – best known for games like Guild Wars 2 – reportedly laid off an "undisclosed number" of staff from its American San Mateo studio, Iron Tiger Studios.
Other closures include AER Memories of Old developer, Forgotten Key, Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale developer, Define Human Studios, Daybreak, 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.