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Following a number of staff layoffs in February, Crop Circle was completely shut down during the tail end of GDC week.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 25, 2024

1 Min Read
Logo for indie developer Crop Circle Games.
Image via Crop Circle Games/Prytania Media.

At a Glance

  • Ex-Crop Circle staff claim parent company Prytania conducted the studio's end in a messy and disrespectful manner.

A month after laying off and furloughing some of its staff, Crop Circle Games has been fully shut down.

Over the weekend, operations manager Luna Jade said parent company Prytania Media "waited until the end of GDC to notify its furloughed employees [our studio] is closing and we have been officially terminated."

Jade's statement was followed up with one from senior designer Jennifer Klasing. She alleged Prytania required staff to "sign away our right to compensation from any NLRB or DLR action in exchange for an extra two months of healthcare. Healthcare that we know they already paid for."

The unusual circumstances of Crop Circle's closre

Crop Circle was founded in late 2022 by Undead Labs founder Jeff Strain. In its early days, it'd snatched up industry alums like Naughty Dog's Josh Scherr and Undead's Ocala Scott-Bellows.

Things took a turn for the worst this past February. Crop Circle was at work on an unannounced project, which seems dead with the studio's closure.

At the same time as Crop Circle's reductions, Prytania (started up by Strain and his wife Annie) made its own layoffs. Those affected claim they were let go without severance.

Speaking to Strain's handling of all this, Klasing noted that he deleted his LinkedIn account.

In her eulogy of Crop Circle, gameplay programmer Vanessa Prinsen called it "a fantastic year and a half working with a supremely talented team" on their unannounced game.

But that was contrasted by a "weird two months...collectively dealing with a furlough/layoff that unfolded in the messiest, least respectful way imaginable."

At time of writing, the status of Prytania's other subsidiaries like Possibility Space and Fang & Claw are unclear.

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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