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Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire dev MZ lays off 125 staff as it shuts down ad-tech branch Cognant

The entire Cognant team and about half of its in-house media buyers are said to have been laid off in June

Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire dev MZ lays off 125 staff as it shuts down ad-tech branch Cognant

Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire developer MZ has laid off around 125 employees after closing down its ad tech branch Cognant.

According to AdExchanger, MZ laid off the entire Cognant team in June along with about half of its in-house media buyers. The amount of those affected is roughly 125 people in total.

Cognant was an internal demand-side platform created back in 2016 to aid MZ’s media buying team in planning, creating, buying, optimising and measuring marketing campaigns.

The tech was initially developed to help MZ promote and monetise its titles Game of War, Mobile Strike and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire.

The company is famous for its ad campaigns to drive user acquisition and appearing in numerous in-game ad spots.


The move to wind up Cognant is said to be part of restructuring at MZ to bring a focus back to mobile games development.

The report follows former CEO Gabe Leydon decision to leave the developer 10 years after he founded it - taking its technology platform Satori with him.

That tech appears to have evolved from when it was originally launched and is now pitched as a real-time messaging platform that is being paired with blockchain technology.

Taking the reins from Leydon was Kristen Dumont, who has served as the firm’s COO since 2015.

MZ CTO of games Vincenzo Alagna was also appointed as president of games.

Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.


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Mackenzie Stafford
That’s cool mz moves on. Pretty sure the CEO’s change is only beginning of a new era in the company. Just hope they’ll keep treating employees with respect and improve wlb matter.
I. C. FOOLS Tech
Has anyone noticed that the thing (platform with ever changing description, abilities, and purpose) the former CEO took with him when he left has a nearly same exec org chart that MZ had before he departed? That's the new era... the same group of shysters gearing up for a new scheme that can be misrepresented as much as their game titles were. I see MZ has also lost its second CFO in less than a years time... those positions are like the canary in coal mine... guess no one noticed that either.

Good riddance to MZ - they spent a fortune propping up their crap bait and switch scam apps where contrarily groups like SC spent a tiny fraction on same and yet quadrupled revenue on titles that came out around same time the MZ titles did... goes to show that legitimate games and trustworthy monetization methods will be rewarded and the less than so will ultimately fail - albeit only after millions were ripped off and learned the hard way.