Hi-Rez announces layoffs in studios, dissolving Rogue Company: Elite developer First Watch Games

Right now it's not entirely clear who will take over development of the mobile title

Hi-Rez announces layoffs in studios, dissolving Rogue Company: Elite developer First Watch Games

Hi-Rez Studios has announced that they will be undergoing a period of restructuring - and rebranding to Hi-Rez Ventures - including layoffs and consolidation of studios.

The announcement was made via the studio’s LinkedIn page. Most notably the proposed restructure will include consolidating First Watch Games and RedBeard Games Studio into Evil Mojo and Titan Forge respectively. The company is quick to note that their flagship franchise, Rogue Company, will continue to operate as normal. However, you may recognise First Watch have been previously named as the developer of the planned mobile spin-off of Rogue Company: Elite.

It’s not clear what will happen to Rogue Company: Elite, as the last we heard of the title was in the close of 2022, with an anticipated release date of 2023. It should be noted that Evil Mojo are confirmed to be responsible for the maintenance of Rogue Company and Realm Royale, but that they will be “focused” on the Paladins IP.

As part of the announcement Hi-Rez noted, “We believe these changes allow us to best support our live game franchises, better empowering the game developers inside Titan Forge and Evil Mojo to control their own destinies and provide the best experiences possible for their gamer communities.”

In rogue company

Rogue Company: Elite doesn’t appear to be dead in the water just yet. However it’s safe to assume that plans for Rogue Company: Elite will be on hold at least while the restructure is taking place. If it does go ahead it’ll more than likely be under the supervision of Evil Mojo, as First Watch Games is now effectively defunct.

It hasn't been smooth sailing for Hi-Rez in the past. They've previously tried to bring one of their franchises to mobile with Paladins Strike. However, the game was quietly shelved around 2021, with its most notable contribution being art from another hero shooter, Blizzard’s Overwatch, accidentally being included in marketing.

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.