Home Just Cause maker announces layoffs, closes two studios

Just Cause maker announces layoffs, closes two studios

It’s still a terrible year for employment in the video games development industry.

Monday, Sweden-based Avalanche Studios Group, makers of the just-optioned-to-Hollywood Just Cause action franchise, said it was cutting 9 percent of its workforce.

That may not sound like a lot but Avalanche now has three locations, Stockholm, Liverpool, and Malmo, Sweden. Studios in New York and Montreal have been shut down entirely. The Montreal operation had only been open for eight months. GameSpot pointed out that Avalanche’s Swedish operations recently unionized.

“Our focus is now on supporting all Avalanchers through this challenging time,” the studios’ leadership said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the invaluable contributions of those leaving and remain committed to creating incredible gaming experiences for our players.”

The next commitment they must honor is a game called Contraband which, similar to Just Cause, is an action-adventure set in an anything-goes tropical banana republic. The game does not yet have a release date but it is committed to a day-and-date launch on Xbox Game Pass.

Video game makers keep laying off developers each quarter

Video games development has been put through a grinder of late. At the beginning of May, Xbox closed the development studios behind Redfall (Arkane Austin) and Ghostwire: Tokyo (Tango Gameworks), both of which were tasked to deliver first-party content to Xbox Game Pass and drive subscriptions and engagement there.

Earlier in the year, Microsoft eliminated 1,900 development jobs in its Xbox division and from the freshly acquired Activision Blizzard, despite surpassing Apple as the world’s richest company, valued at more than $3 trillion.

Elsewhere, Relic Entertainment, maker of Company of Heroes, announced layoffs, and Take-Two Interactive, makers of the money-printing Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K franchises, said it would fire another 5 percent of its workforce to save investors $165 million.

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Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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