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Season developer Scavengers Studio hit with "massive layoffs"

Update: After its recent layoffs, Scavengers Studio now has 16 employees, who are preparing to start work on a new "gameplay-driven project."

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

June 21, 2023

2 Min Read
Screenshot of Estelle from Scavengers Studio's Season: A Letter to the Future.

Months after releasing Season: A Letter to the Future, Montreal developer Scavengers Studio has reportedly suffered "massive layoffs."

On LinkedIn, now-ex staff have said the studio has made cuts across the board. For reference, there are at least 45 staffers listed on Scavengers' LinkedIn page. 

Scavengers was founded in 2015, with its first game being the free-to-play (and now defunct) title The Darwin Project. Ahead of Season's release this past January, co-founder (and creative director) Simon Darveau was accused of inappropriate conduct such as shouting at employees. 

Darveau and fellow co-founder/CEO Amelie LaMarche (who was his partner during the studio's founding) departed the studio as it was being investigated. Months later, the pair were reinstated, with Darveau put into a non-managerial position. 

Game Developer has contacted Scavengers Studio for more information on its layoffs, and will update when a response is given. 

Update, 6/26: A recent report from Kotaku goes into the recent layoffs at Scavengers Studio, which were reportedly done in response to Season's sales numbers. 

In an email dated back to June 20, studio co-founder Amelie LaMarche revealed the game sold 60,000 copies in its first five months. As a result, "we have been left with no choice but to make the difficult decision of downsizing the studio to a smaller, sustainable group of game developers."

Regarding those who've been let go, LaMarche said she spent "several months and efforts of trying to see what we could do, who we could talk to, how can we leverage more funds. It's not a decision I took lightly." 

Scavengers will provide "financial and psychological support," along with extended health coverage to those who've been laid off. As for current staff, it's said that 16 employees are still at the Montreal studio.

Remaining staff will soon begin work on a "gameplay-driven project," indicating that Scavengers may attempt another live service game similar to its debut title, The Darwin Project. 

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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