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Digital Extremes lays off devs on external projects and publishing teams

Update: Digital Extremes confirmed it let go of over 30 staffers with its layoffs, and that it was giving the rights of Wayfinder over to Airship Syndicate.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 9, 2023

2 Min Read
A group of characters from Airship Syndicate's Wayfinder, published by Digital Extremes.
Image via Airship Syndicate/Digital Extremes.

According to Polygon, job cuts have hit Warframe developer Digital Extremes. An unspecified number of employees have been let go across publishing and external teams not involving the developer's shared-world shooter. 

Sources told the outlet "at least 20 [people]" were let go overall, and the two affected teams were involved with the game Wayfinder from Airship Syndicate. Outside of Warframe, Digital Extremes has published a small number of titles such as 2015's Dungeons & Dragons game Sword Coast Legends

The action-MMO released this past September in Early Access, but the game's future is now unclear in the wake of these layoffs. At time of writing, the developer (which previously made Battle Chasers: Nightwar and Ruined King: A League of Legends Story) hasn't commented on these layoffs or Wayfinder's fate.

Digital Extremes' reductions come two weeks after the departure of its founder and CEO James Schmalz. He exited the studio ahead of its 30th anniversary and was subsequently replaced by Steve Sinclair, who previously operated as its CCO. 

This marks the second round of layoffs for the week at a large developer. Ubisoft cut staff across its Canadian offices earlier in the week, while Embracer may potentially lay off all of Free Radical Design, which it revived back in 2021.

Update: Digital Extremes confirmed to Polygon that over 30 workers were let go in its newest round of layoffs. A representative told the outlet Digital Extremes would be "[ceasing] operations of our external projects division."

The studio will stop supporting Wayfinder, and the game's rights will be reverted in full over to Airship Syndicate in the next few months. On X, Airship thanked Digital Extremes for its working relationship, and affirmed it has "no plans to stop developing [Wayfinder] now."

"We look forward to continuing to grow the game alongside our players as we take on operations," it added. "The game has a long way to go in Early Access, but with belief from our players and our dedicated Airship crew, we can - and will! - get there."

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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