UK games publisher and developer Team17 may cut a massive third of their workforce, it has been reported, with some devs worried whether or not the company can continue to function.
At the start of October, Team17, the developer behind the Worms franchise and publisher of indie hits such as Blasphemous and Dredge, announced they would be undergoing a period of consultancy with redundancies likely to take place. However, it appears that these cuts are even more severe than had been anticipated. Eurogamer reports that a third of the company’s workforce from departments including HR, IT, QA - who were the first department confirmed to face significant cuts - and more are at risk of redundancy.
If true, the scale of these cuts is severe and suggest a far more decisive attempt to restructure the company than expected. But questions are already being raised as to whether these cuts will do more harm than good. Developers working on projects for Team 17, while remaining nameless, contacted Eurogamer to give details of the layoffs and expressed concerns that the cuts may be so deep as to draw into question their ability to continue working on their project.
Too much, too late?
Across the games industry, unprecedented levels of redundancies have taken place with thousands of jobs lost as the industry moves from the startling growth that was experienced during the Covid-pandemic into more regular and commercially realistic uptake and usage. It seems that, in the face of the meteoric rise fuelled by a captive audience, that considerations of a course-correction were simply not a factor.
Now, sadly, Team17 is joining a long list of companies dumping longtime employees to make up for this shortfall. The comments given to Eurogamer are indicative of the fact that redundancies of this scale are not necessarily “trimming the fat” so much as cutting into the meat itself, with knowledge and skills that could take years to replace being exchanged for immediate savings.