To date, 16,000+ Game Job Layoffs from 2023-2024 and Counting …

By Todd Russell Apr11,2024

Ouch on the headline, the reality. We at PGM do not want to see anybody in the gaming sector lose their job. On that disappointing front, 2023 was brutal and 2024 is not off to a promising start.

Our own estimated total for 2023’s layoffs was 11,250 people (the Obsidian tracker posits at least 10,500), while in 2024 we had already reached nearly 6,000 layoffs (5,900 on the public list) by the end of January. More layoffs have been reported in the early days of February, including an unknown number at Visual Concepts Austin, which Take-Two acquired in 2021.

The impact of 16,000 games industry layoffs, in one chart | PC Gamer

These cuts are not just impacting the games sector, it’s happening in many other businesses. Most recently, the Best Buy Geek Squad:

Employees reported that the layoffs came suddenly, and were reportedly because the company could no longer afford to pay them. 

Best Buy’s Geek Squad Hit With Massive Layoffs (msn.com)

If you’ve shopped in store at Best Buy in the last year, you’ve likely seen the drop-off in customers.

Meta/Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives his take on what’s causing these layoffs:

He went on to discuss the recent layoffs in the tech industry and Meta. He said that most of the layoffs were due to companies overbuilding during the pandemic as e-commerce surged. He said that when things went back to normal, companies realised that they were overstaffed and had to cut jobs.

Mark Zuckerberg explains tech layoffs, shares his views on Sam Altman’s $7 trillion AI chip venture | Technology News – The Indian Express

Techcrunch is tracking even more: A comprehensive list of 2023 & 2024 tech layoffs | TechCrunch

The list of game company layoffs continues, including from EA that says they will be scaling back some IP-related games via EA lays off 5% of its developers in move away from licensed games | Digital Trends

Sony shuttered their entire London PlayStation studio and laid off approximately 8% of their workforce.

XBOX CEO Phil Spencer blames their cuts on capitalism:

The problem, according to Spencer, is a “lack of growth” across the videogame industry as a whole. “When you have an industry that is projected to be smaller next year in terms of players and dollars, and you get a lot of publicly traded companies that are in the industry that have to show their investors growth—because why else does somebody own a share of someone’s stock if it’s not going to grow?—the side of the business that then gets scrutinized is the cost side,” Spencer said. “Because if you’re not going to grow the revenue side, then the cost side becomes challenged.”

Phil Spencer blames capitalism for games industry woes: ‘I don’t get [the] luxury of not having to run a profitable growing business’ | PC Gamer

Or, Phil, we need to get back to making games that don’t take so long, require so many people and thus cost less. Sure, maybe we won’t have as many ultra-realistic graphics games, but I’ll take gameplay over graphics any day.

Bottom line: no, these are not good times to be working in the game sector (nor a lot of other job sectors). Hopefully those losing their jobs will be finding comparable pay employment elsewhere soon.

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One thought on “To date, 16,000+ Game Job Layoffs from 2023-2024 and Counting …”
  1. Scary times for sure, and with the surge of AI I’m sure that number will continue to rise.

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