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Embracer conducting "sizeable" layoffs at Lost Boys Interactive

Update: Lost Boys Interactive has confirmed the layoffs and claims the job cuts will enable it to "succeed in spite of headwinds facing the industry right now."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 15, 2024

3 Min Read
Two characters in a firefight in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
Image via Embracer / Lost Boys Interactive

Embracer is cutting a "sizeable" number of jobs at Tiny Tina's Wonderlands co-developer Lost Boys Interactive.

A number of current and former Lost Boys Interactive employees shared the news on Linkedin, including some who've been directly impacted by the layoffs.

"It seems a sizeable portion of Lost Boys Interactive was laid off today, including myself," wrote former producer Jared Pace. "Still trying to understand the scope of it all, but sadly–this is a song and dance we're all familiar with."

Lost Boys art director Nick Barone corroborated the news and indicated the job losses would impact the entire company. 

"Even though I was spared in the company-wide layoff at Lost Boys Interactive, so many talented artists and flat-out fantastic people were let go. I simply do not have the words to convey how much all of the relationships that I formed have meant to me personally and if anyone needs a reference do not hesitate to reach out," he added.

"If anyone sees someone from Lost Boys Interactive applying, you should take a really good look at them as these are easily not only the most talented artists I have ever worked with but also some of the best people."

Game Developer has contacted Lost Boys Interactive in a bid to learn more about the layoffs, including how the studio will support those impacted by the cuts.

Embracer continues mass layoffs after ditching "heavy-investment-mode"

According to the Lost Boys website, the studio currently has over 400 employees spread across the United States and Canada. The company is owned by Gearbox Software, which was purchased by Embracer back in 2021 for $1.38 billion.

Embracer sealed that acquisition during a free-spending M&A era that ended abruptly in July 2023 when the Swedish conglomerate announced it needed to become more "self-sufficient."

To deliver on that promise, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors said it would be shuttering or downsizing studios and pausing or scrapping projects with "low projected returns."

The company's latest fiscal report showed Embracer laid off 900 people in the three months following that restructuring announcement, representing around 5 percent of its total workforce.

A huge number of Embracer-owned studios were impacted by those cuts, including 3D Realms, Slipgate, Fishlabs, Free Radical, Motorsport Games, Cryptic Studios, Crystal Dynamics, Beamdog, Rainbow Studios, and Volition.

Embracer also confirmed its open to divesting some studios after rumors began circulating that indicated it was considering selling Gearbox less than two years after acquiring the Borderlands maker.

2023 went down as a horrendous year for game developers. Major players like Embracer, Unity, Epic Games, PlayStation, EA, Meta, and more collectively laid off tens of thousands of workers. That trend now looks set to continue into the new year after Unity, Embracer, and Bossa kickstarted 2024 by announcing more cuts.

Update (01/16/24): A spokesperson for Lost Boys Interactive has confirmed the layoffs in a statement sent to Game Developer and said the move was necessary in order to navigate challenging "headwinds."

"Lost Boys Interactive made the difficult decision to restructure our studio to ensure we can succeed in spite of headwinds facing the industry right now," reads the statement. 

"Unfortunately, this does mean we will separate from some of our team members and we’re working closely with those affected. We know this is a hard time for this talented and experienced group of people and will provide support and assistance through this transition to those leaving."

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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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