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"This is a rough environment for a lot of indie studios, and like them, we're faced with some very hard choices."

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 22, 2024

1 Min Read
Key art for Velan's Knockout City.
Image via Velan Studios/EA.

At a Glance

  • Velan hopes to prevent as many layoffs it can by securing a new deal with a publishing partner.

Velan Studios is in the "early stages" of laying off members of its 121-person staff as part of a company reorganization.

On Twitter, the New York developer explained an unnamed external partner abruptly canceled the project it was working on. Within the next 60 days, 46 employees will be let go.

"This is a rough environment for a lot of indie studios," said Velan, "and like them, we're faced with some very hard choices."

The life and times of Velan Studios

Velan was founded in 2016 by Guha Bala and Karthik Bala, who previously founded Vicarious Visions. Its debut title was Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo, followed by 2021's Knockout City and last year's Hot Wheels: Rift Rally.

The free-to-play dodgeball game was originally published by EA, then had its rights returned to Velan nearly a year after launch. It went offline in 2023, though a private PC server exists.

Looking to the immediate future, Velan said it would "double down" on its current projects, some of which are releasing in 2024. To further make up for the canned project, it'll work to secure new partnerships.

While it hopes to "rescind" as many layoff notifications as it can, it also said it'd do its best to help affected staff.

"We're grateful to all our employees for their hard work, creativity, and dedication," Velan concluded.

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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.

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