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Dauntless dev Phoenix Labs lays off 30 employees

Phoenix Labs is reducing its project load months after its founders bought the studio to regain ownership from parent company Garena.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 1, 2023

1 Min Read
Key art for Phoenix Labs' 2019 online game Dauntless.

Phoenix Labs, developers of the online game Dauntless, has reportedly laid off 9 percent of its staff. According to GamesIndustry, the Vancouver-based studio conducted layoffs of around 30 staffers (out of around 310, per LinkedIn) across its additional offices in Canada and the United States. 

Those layoffs were said to have been announced internally to staff internally last week. A representative told GamesIndustry the layoffs are a part of a larger reorganization effort and a "focus on fewer development projects." 

Phoenix Labs was founded in 2014 by Jesse Houston, Sean Bender and Robin Mayne, all of whom had previously worked at Riot Games on League of Legends. The studio was acquired by Garena in 2020, during which it opened a pair of studios in Montreal and Los Angeles to support Dauntless and make prototypes for new games.

As of this past February, Phoenix Labs has since broken off from Garena after studio management bought the company. 

As a result of that reorganization, Phoenix Labs is said to focus mainly on Dauntless, its first and currently only released game. Along with its upcoming game Fae Farm for the Nintendo Switch later this year, the studio will also devote time to "the remaining unannounced titles in our portfolio."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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