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Dreams and LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule is making layoffs

Update: The PlayStation-owned studio has confirmed that some jobs are at risk as it transitions to a new project.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

October 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Key artwork for Dreams showing vibrant, nebulous shapes forming something new
Image via PlayStation

Dreams and LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule plans to lay off around 20 employees, according to sources speaking to GLHF.

Those sources claim the layoffs were announced during an internal meeting that took place on October 24, 2023, and are the result of the PlayStation-owned studio seeking to reduce its headcount to 115 employees from its workforce of roughly 135 staffers.

That means around 20 jobs are on the line or around 15 percent of the company's workforce.

Game Developer has reached out to Media Molecule and PlayStation representatives to confirm the news and learn what kind of support will be offered to those being laid off.

Layoffs in the industry

There has seemingly been a spate of layoffs within the PlayStation Studios family in recent weeks, with Naughty Dog cutting around two dozen contract workers at the end of October and support studio Visual Arts also reportedly sanctioning a "wave" of layoffs.

In the case of Media Molecule, the studio appears to be in transition. A number of senior staffers have left the Dreams developer over the past 12 months, including co-founder and art director Kareem Ettouney and creative director Mark Healey.

The studio then ended live support for Dreams in September and explained it has struggled to figure out how the title could chart a "sustainable path" forward. Media Molecule now intends to begin working on a new project.

Layoffs have become increasingly commonplace within the games industry during 2023. In the past few months alone, major companies like Embracer Group, Epic Games, Virtuos, Keywords, Creative Assembly, Team17, Ubisoft, Blizzard, Roblox Corp, and more have all cut talented employees loose—and some of those companies have warned that layoffs will continue until the end of the fiscal year.

Update (10/24/23): Media Molecule has confirmed that some jobs are at risk in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The studio said it has made the "difficult decision to begin the consultation process for team members within certain departments at the studio" but didn't specific how many people could be let go.

"This is a tough moment for the individuals impacted and the studio overall," reads the statement. "Every single role that has been put at risk is delivered by someone who has contributed something special to Media Molecule. We will make sure those impacted receive the best support we can provide during this process.

"We will continue to support the Dreams Community for the foreseeable future and will update on future plans at a later date."

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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.

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