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Jam City lays off 100+ staff, impacting 17% of its total workforce
The mobile game studio laid off 17 percent of its staff, impacting developers across its San Diego Jam City office, Montreal-based subsidiary Ludia, and likely others.
Jam City has laid off 17 percent of its overall staff, amounting to a wave of layoffs impacting well over 100 developers across the company's many studios.
Developers impacted have started to share the news on social media, while others across the industry have voiced their support for impacted staff. The layoff so far seems to largely affect staff at Jurassic World Alive developer Ludia, as well as Jam City's office in San Diego.
Following publication of this article, a Jam City representative has clarified that the layoff impacts roughly 20 percent of Ludia's workforce, rather than the previously reported 30-50 percent. The layoffs as a whole affect developers across all of Jam City's studios, with most impacting staff working in "central services".
In a statement provided to VentureBeat, a Jam City spokesperson said the decision to lay off between 150 and 200 employees aims to "better [position] Jam City for long-term growth." The statement points to the current "challenging global economy and its impact on the gaming industry" as a contributing factor, and adds that its recent acquisitions have forced it to "address redundancies associated with those transactions." Further in the statement, the spokesperson assures that "Jam City remains profitable" despite its decision to lay off hundreds of people.
Jam City itself has owned Ludia for less than a year. The mobile-centric developer, known for Lovelink and a long catalog of licensed mobile games like DC Heroes & Villains, was acquired in September 2021 for a total of $165 million as part of Jam City's stated goal to acquire studios that specialized in the development of licensed games. At the time, Jam City CEO and founder Chris DeWolf said bringing Ludia into the fold represented the company's strategy of "acquiring great companies across the globe and heavily investing in our current studios."
Previously, Ludia had developed mobile games for the Jurassic World franchise, along with the mobile dating game Lovelink. With Jam City, it intended to use licenses from DC, Universal Pictures, and Disney.
That 2021 acquisition came as Jam City closed a record $350 million investment to support its growth strategy, and shortly after it scrapped plans to become a publicly traded company valued at $1.2 billion via a merger with DPCM Capital, Inc. Those merger plans fell through in a mutual agreement between Jam City and DPCM, with a press release from the two parties calling it "the best path forward" for all involved.
Updated 8/5/22 to correct the scale of Ludia layoffs following comment from Jam City and correct language regarding overall scale.
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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