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Surgent Studios cuts jobs months after launch of debut title Tales of Kenzera: Zau

UPDATE: Studio confirms "just over a dozen people" have been affected

Tales of Kenzera: Zau
Image credit: Surgent Studios

Update: Surgent Studios has confirmed it has "joined the growing number of games studios impacted by layoffs this year", with "just over a dozen people" affected by the cuts.

In a statement posted to X, the studio said:

Unfortunately, Surgent has joined the growing number of games studios impacted by layoffs this year with just over a dozen people affected.

It's a difficult time in the games industry, but we remain incredibly proud of our entire team's work on Zau, and of the praise it has received from critics and players alike.

"Our focus now is on supporting those affected, continuing our work on Zau, and looking to the future with our next creative projects."

Founder Abubakar Salim said that the cuts "hurt deeply", and that he was "proud of what the team has achieved over the course of these four years."

Original story: Surgent Studios has reportedly laid off an undisclosed number of employees.

The cuts come just three months after its latest release, Tales of Kenzera: Zau, released to strong critic and fan reviews.

Whilst neither the studio itself nor founder Abubakar Salim has commented publicly on the layoffs, former Surgent devs have discussed the redundancies on their personal social media profiles.

"The chapter entitled 'Pete Works At Surgent Studios' is coming to a close at the end of the month," wrote former level designer Peter Brisbourne on LinkedIn.

"I'm another casualty of the Wild West industry that is video game development," added producer Phillip Smy.

Yesterday, a producer wrote on Bluesky yesterday that there was a "very high likelihood [they were] going to get some really bad news", and updated today with a simple: "Well, I’ve officially been laid off, as expected. Sh*t sucks." has reached out for comment.

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Vikki Blake: When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.
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