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Hi-Rez Studios lays off employees in company restructuring

In prioritizing the future of its two big online games, Smite and Paladins, Hi-Rez let go a currently unknown number of staff.

June 27, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art of developer Hi-Rez Studios and its various games.

Hi-Rez Studios has recently undergone a restructuring to "focus the business around its top priorities." On LinkedIn, CEO Stewart Chisam wrote that the studio will now be split across three branches that will operate as independent studios of the newly rebranded Hi-Rez Ventures. 

Layoffs have also been part of the restructure, though Chisam did not disclose how many were affected, or if it was relegated to one particular studio. A representative for the company later confirmed around 10 percent of overall workforce was impacted. 

Though "a mix" of divisions were impacted, the representative said there was a "heavier impact" for the company's publishing and back office roles. 

The biggest change comes to its subsidiaries. Divine Knockout developer RedBeard Games and Rogue Company creator First Watch Games have been respectively merged with Titan Forge and Evil Mojo. 

Additionally, Hi-Rez will only publish future games via its (now two) development studios. With its restructuring, Hi-Rez says the pair of developers will be able to "control their own destinies and provide the best experiences possible for their [player] communities."

Meet the new old Hi-Rez studios

Going forward, Titan Forge Games will focus on the Hi-Rez's popular MOBA, Smite. Executive producer Travis Brown and brand VP Alex Cantatore will lead the studio on both the main game and an unannounced project for the Smite property. The studio will provide maintenance for Divine Knockout

Meanwhile, the hero shooter Paladins will be overseen by Evil Mojo. The Hi-Rez subsidiary will also be responsible for maintaining Rogue Company and Realm Royale

The final pillar of Hi-Rez is its recently announced studio, RallyHere. The platform provides backend support for live service games, including most of the ones made by Hi-Rez' various offshoots. Chisam will transition to the service's CEO, while Hi-Rez co-founder Erez Goren will serve as the new CEO of Hi-Rez Ventures. 

"We believe these changes allow us to best support our live game franchises," wrote Chisam of these changes. 

Note: This post has been updated with additional information about staff impacted by Hi-Rez's recent string of layoffs. 

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