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More than 1,000 jobs lost to studio closures over the past year

Plus more affected by layoffs at Big Fish Games, Harmonix, Hangar 13, Volition and more

A series of high-profile closure over the past 12 months have taken their toll on the industry's workforce, with more than 1,000 developers losing their jobs.

In the wake of mass redundancies and the near-closure of Telltale Games, PC Gamer has compiled a list of the studios that have been forced to close since September 2017, including (if known) the number of people rendered unemployed by each. It makes for harrowing reading.

Telltale, of course, has not quite been closed but reduced to a team of just 25 people as they wrap up the studio's final project. But with at least 250 people dismissed, the company is a shell of what it once was.

The year kicked off with Electronic Arts' decision to close Dead Space developer Visceral Games back in October, with PC Gamer reporting at least 80 employees affected.

Similar to Telltale, Gigantic developer Motiga saw significant layoffs - reportedly around 70 people - in November, leaving a small core team maintaining the game. However, in February it was announced the game would be shut down during the summer.

Motiga's closure came at the hands of its publisher Perfect World, which also shut down Seattle-based Torchlight developer Runic Games in November.

Shortly after, CCP announced it was exiting the VR business, leading to the closure of its Atlanta studio, a reduction of its Shanghai studio and "the elimination of a number of positions worldwide."

At the end of November, Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion Entertainment was forced to close down, making approximately 200 employees jobless. This was due to Marvel ending its partnership with the studio.

February ended with the closure of The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency, David Jaffe's lengthily-named studio responsible for Drawn to Death. This came a month after the firm laid off the "vast majority" of its staff.

In May, Cliff Bleszinski's studio Boss Key Productions was forced to shut down, less than a year after releasing its debut title LawBreakers. At peak, the developer had 60 employees.

A further 150 people were lost later that month when Wargaming closed its Seattle studio, formerly known as Gas Powered Games.

Earlier this month, MMO developer Carbine Studios closed after more than a decade, with its final title WildStar due to go offline in November.

Finally, it was revealed last week Capcom Vancouver was closing down. The Dead Rising studio had 158 employees, having laid off around 50 back in February.

All in all, it totals at more than 1,000 - considerably more given the number of studios that did not disclose the final headcount before they shut down. And these are just from studio closures.

Additional layoffs have been suffered at The Chinese Room, Volition (more than 30 staff), Harmonix (14 employees), Wooga (approximately 30), Nexon America, Failbetter Games, Hangar 13, Robot Entertainment (30 staff), Jam City, Twitch, Codemasters Evo, Sekai Project, and most recently Big Fish Games (15% of its workforce).

While studio closures and layoffs are sadly a reality of the games industry, it seems to have been a particularly harsh 12 months. Fortunately, the industry often rallies around those affected by redundancies - most recently demonstrated by the #TelltaleJobs hashtag currently doing the rounds on social media.

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James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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