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February 5, 2024
1 Min Read
Image via Crop Circle Games.
Crop Circle Games has seemingly become the first studio to make layoffs in February. Developers at the studio have implied reductions are taking place, and said they're now looking for work.
Crop Circle was founded in late 2022 by Jeff Strain, who previously established Undead Labs and ArenaNet. It's the fourth studio he's opened during his industry career.
The Crop Circle team includes industry veterans like Josh Scherr (Naughty Dog) and Ocala Scott-Bellows (Undead Labs). The studio is currently working on an unannounced project.
Like his third studio Possibility Space, Crop Circle is a subsidiary under Prytania Media. The firm was started by Strain and his wife Annie, and focuses on developing new properties.
Strain has been a vocal workers rights advocate when operating from within the C-suite. In mid-2021, Strain urged the larger game industry (and his own employees) to unionize after allegations of alleged mistreatment of women and other employees were made against Activision Blizzard.
Though no unionization efforts (publicly) surfaced at Prytania-owned studios, union drives elsewhere in the game industry have shed light on how such organizations can provide meaningful benefits for members.
During two of the more recent high-profile layoffs, unions came through. Worker groups for Microsoft and Sega of America either saved represented staff from being laid off or managed to secure better severance for those being let go.
Game Developer has reached out to Prytania for more information on the layoffs.
About the Author(s)
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.
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