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Embracer Group’s restructuring plan appears to have affected Gearbox Publishing. Following yesterday’s closure of development studio Volition, posts from Gearbox employees surfaced this week indicating that they were also laid off thanks to Embracer’s rebuilding efforts. Several employees report being laid off as far back as June.
Game Developer reported the LinkedIn posts, which include personal announcements of layoffs from as recently as early August. One former Gearbox employee, Allan Jacquemart, said, “Unfortunately, no one saw it coming, but my contract and those of my colleagues who started in June had to be terminated on the last day of our probation month (which also happened to be my birthday, yay). We were simply victims of the group’s restructuring.” Jacquemart was a French localization specialist at Gearbox’s Amsterdam location.
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Embracer announced its restructuring plan in June, with CEO Lars Wingefors saying it was to “better optimize the use of our resources.” Among its other points, the plan included the points: “The closing of studios and termination of projects, that have not yet been announced and with low projected returns” and “Reduction of investments into external development with greater focus on internal development based on owned or controlled IP.”
Campfire Cabal, a studio that had not yet produced a game, was supposedly one of the first affected by the restructuring. As reported by IGN, former executive producer Bruno-Christian Belibou said on LinkedIn that Embracer laid off everyone at the studio in June. Earlier this year, Embracer allegedly lost a $2 billion partnership with Savvy Gaming Group. It’s unclear why the deal fell through.