Sponsored By

Multiple posts on social media indicate job cuts are happening "across the company."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 14, 2024

3 Min Read
A screenshot from Homeworld 3
Image via Blackbird Interactive

Update (2/14/24): A spokesperson for Blackbird Interactive has told Game Developer the studio is making layoffs due to "economic pressures" beyond its control. They claimed the cuts are part of a wider "realignment plan" that was implemented after some of its partners shelved in-development projects. 

"Due to economic pressures outside of our control, we had to take the unfortunate step of separating from some friends. This is part of a realignment plan that's necessary because of new projects that were shelved by some of our partners," they said.

"We looked at multiple ways of avoiding this and regretfully other options weren't viable. Because the affected team members are our BBI family, we want to help position them well for this next stage of their careers. We're offering a suite of extended benefits and severance to help ease this transition."

Original story: Homeworld 3 developer Blackbird Interactive has laid off an unknown number of staff. Multiple employees shared the news on Linkedin and said there had been a round of layoffs "across the company."

"Unfortunately, I was one of those impacted," wrote former Blackbird lead producer Jacob Van Rooyen. "Despite the situation, I appreciate all the experiences and wonderful people I've met and known at Blackbird Interactive. I've been amazed and humbled by everyone's support today, and I wish everyone impacted the best in landing on their feet."

Former Blackbird associate programmer Dylan Freddi corroborated the news. "I was finally affected by layoffs today," they wrote. "My time at Blackbird Interactive was nothing short of incredible and I learned so much from all the different games I worked on. Looking forward to what comes next."

Alexander Weatherston, who spent over four years at Blackbird and had been serving as game director on an upcoming project, was also laid off. "After four fantastic years at Blackbird Interactive, I've been sadly affected by a new round of layoffs," he wrote. "I've grown and learnt so much these past few years and am eager to apply those learnings to my next role."

Blackbird Interactive cutting jobs after Homeworld 3 delay 

It looks like Blackbird made the layoffs shortly after delaying Homeworld 3. The sci-fi title was previously slated to release in March but will now be launching on May 13, 2024.  The Canadian studio recently rolled out a Homeworld 3 demo on Steam and the Epic Games Store and said it had delayed the title to incorporate player feedback.

According to a company fact sheet published in December 2023 (Google Drive link), Blackbird employed roughly 220 people at the end of the year and claimed to have three to four "active game teams."

Blackbird is also known for working on Minecraft Legends and Hardspace: Shipbreaker. In August last year, the studio confirmed it laid off 41 employees after canceling several unannounced projects. 

It described 2023 as a "tough" year for the studio and wider game industry, referencing a colossal wave of job cuts and studio closures enacted by companies including Embracer, Epic Games, Meta, and more. 

Unfortunately, the layoffs haven't abated in 2024, and major studios like Microsoft, Sega of America, Devolver Digital, 2K Games, Unity, Thunderful, and many others have axed thousands of jobs since the turn of the year. 

Game Developer has reached out to Blackbird Interactive for more information.

Read more about:

LayoffsTop Stories

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.

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

You May Also Like