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Elite Dangerous developer Frontier sanctions hiring freeze, spending cuts, and layoffs

The company said it must "create a sustainable foundation for the future."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

October 17, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Elite Dangerous showing a ship flying towards a planet

F1 Manager, Elite Dangerous, and Planet Zoo developer Frontier Developments has sanctioned layoffs as part of an organizational review.

The UK studio, which employs around 800 people, said it must tweak its business strategy to "refocus on its core strengths" following a period of disappointing financial performance.

"The organizational review announced today will reshape Frontier to deliver on that updated strategic plan more efficiently, return the company to profit, and create a sustainable foundation for the future," wrote the studio in a note to investors.

The company claims that review will deliver enhancements to Frontier's leadership and structure, drive efficiencies across the company, and reduce annual operating costs by up to 20 percent.

Notably, Frontier said those cost reduction efforts will be achieved through a "recruitment freeze, spending cuts and, unfortunately, redundancies, subject to consultation."

"The organizational review and resulting actions are expected to conclude by early 2024, placing Frontier in a strong position to deliver efficiently on its strategic plan over the medium term, and capitalize on future opportunities," added the company.

Frontier "comfortable" with market expectations but claims it must "refocus"

In a brief trading update, Frontier added that its existing game portfolio continues to perform in line with expectations ahead of an "important" holiday period during which the company intends to launch Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin.

The Frontier board said it "remains comfortable" with market expectations for FY24 with "consensus revenue at £108 million and consensus Adjusted EBITDA loss of £9 million."

The board expects those aforementioned costs reductions to be "fully effective" before the start of the next fiscal year. Frontier added that it will provide an update on its organizational review alongside its interim financial results in January 2024.

When Game Developer reached out to Frontier for more information about the layoffs and how it intends to support those affected, the company said it won't be able to share more information until the review has concluded.

This is just the latest in a string of job cuts made by major game companies. Last month, Epic Games laid off 900 employees to support Fortnite's transition into a "metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators." Embracer Group is continuing to make layoffs as it attempts to leave its free-spending M&A era behind. UK studio Creative Assembly is also cutting jobs following the abrupt cancellation of Hyenas.

To call those the tip of the iceberg would be an understatement. Over the past few months, workers at studios including Blizzard, Roblox, Team 17, Naughty Dog, Keywords, Harebrained Schemes, Striking Distance, Ascendant Studios, Visual Concepts, Blackbird Interactive, and many, many more have all been impacted by an ongoing spate of layoffs that have sent shockwaves cascading throughout the industry. 

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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