Sponsored By

Harebrained Schemes cut jobs pre-Lamplighters League release

The status of Harebrained Schemes is reportedly in flux following its newest game, The Lamplighters League, and Paradox's reaction to its underperformance.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 12, 2023

1 Min Read
Eddie and Ingrid in a screenshot from Harebrained Schemes' Lamplighters League.

An alleged former employee at developer Harebrained Schemes revealed a majority of the studio's staff was laid off over the summer. On ResetEra, that worker claims the studio cut "80 percent or so" of its workforce in July, months ahead of the developer's newest release, The Lamplighters League

"There'll likely be some press about it eventually, but otherwise nothing's been reported/released yet," they wrote. "You can find several ex-HBS people looking for work over LinkedIn the last couple months."

Game Developer can verify former Harebrained staff revealed they were impacted by those job cuts on LinkedIn. Some posts date back to August or July, while others are as recent as last week

A representative for parent company Paradox Interactive confirmed to PCGamer that layoffs occurred at the studio prior to Lamplighters' launch. However, they didn't provide specifics, only saying the staff "was significantly reduced over the summer as the game entered its last phase of development and launch preparations."

Earlier in the week, Paradox revealed it would be writing off Lamplighters League as a $22 million loss just a week after it came out. While the game has seen "positive player numbers" thanks to being on Xbox Game Pass, the publisher claims its commercial outlook has been "a big disappointment." 

"Game projects are by their nature always risky, but at the end of the day we haven’t performed at the level we should," said Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester at the time. "It is painful but makes us more eager to roll up our sleeves and do better."

"The commercial performance of the game is at a level well outside of our expectations," the representative added. "This is unusual for us. [...] "At present we have no changes to the game's post-launch plan."

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.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like