Nearly half of Bandcamp's staff has been laid off, according to Kotaku reporter Ethan Gach. The reductions come in the aftermath of parent company Epic Games' layoffs at the end of September, and ahead of Bandcamp being sold to music company Songtradr.
Per LinkedIn, the popular music distribution platform employed 210 workers, meaning these reductions now leave it with around 110 workers (give or take) that will survive the transition. Social media posts indicate the company's editorial team was hit the hardest by the reductions.
"So frustrated and saddened by the layoffs at Bandcamp," wrote writer Leor Galil. "The editorial work the site published did a lot to document independent music as news outlets around the country have let their arts and culture coverage fall apart through cuts and attrition."
"Nearly eight years at Bandcamp and it’s over," continued editor JJ Skolnik. "About half the company was laid off today. some of the most incredible people i’ve ever worked with. [...] This is a loss, no two ways about it."
Epic first acquired Bandcamp in early 2022, presumably to help Rock Band creator Harmonix (which Epic bought just months prior) synergize sales with whatever metaverse concerts were in the works for Fortnite. More recently, workers at Bandcamp unionized back in May, though it wasn't without its alleged strife on Epic's end.
After the recent layoffs at Epic, the Bandcamp Union wrote that it would demand recognition from Songtradr. As of October 12, it received over 10,000 signatures from supporters demanding that Songtradr to recognize its labor organization.
Game Developer has reached out to Epic Games and will update this story when a response is given.
Update: A spokesperson for Epic Games clarified to Game Developer that the Bandcamp layoffs aren't new, but part of Epic's previously announced reductions.
In a statement, Epic explained that Songtradr extended offers to Bandcamp employees "in waves" throughout the coming weeks.
Regarding Bandcamp's union, Epic said the parties have started negotiating severance terms "in good faith." Non-union staff that are part of Epic's layoffs will get severance equal to what's being offered to other Epic employees affected by the cutbacks.
officially laid off, after two weeks of limbo where i expected that would be the case but had no confirmation. nearly eight years at bandcamp and it’s over. if anyone is looking for a dedicated, talented, and professional editor and culture writer, i’m on the market— jj skolnik (@modernistwitch) October 16, 2023