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Robot Entertainment lays off 30 staff

Orcs Must Die! studio is cutting two teams down to one as it prepares to announce its new game

Robot Entertainment has laid off more than 30 people following the decision to focus its efforts on a single project.

According to a statement released by the Texas-based studio, its team expanded during the development of Orcs Must Die! Unchained, which launched in April 2017. It then launched Hero Academy 2 on mobile platforms in January this year.

"Over the past 18 months, our studio has had two teams working on different projects," said Robot Entertainment CEO Patrick Hudson. "Today, the company is making a strategic shift to focus on a single internal game project.

"Unfortunately, that means we need to resize our team to fit only one project. We've made the very difficult decision to let go of over 30 of our very talented and dedicated developers."

Robot Entertainment welcomed Tencent as a minority investor in February 2015, a deal which saw the Chinese company become the publisher for Orcs Must Die! Unchained in the Greater China region. At that time, Hudson said the partnership offered "additional financial flexibility."

Orcs Must Die! Unchained was the third game in Robot Entertainment's franchise, but it was the first to use a free-to-play business model. It isn't clear whether the more accessible model led to more players, but SteamSpy's data suggests that - on PC, if not console - that wasn't the case.

Orcs Must Die! 2 had 1.8 million players, despite carrying a price of $14.99 at the time of writing. According to Steam Spy, though, Orcs Must Die! Unchained has attracted less than 1.1 million players to date.

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