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Studio Wildcard says layoff of 6 developers 'will not impact development schedule'

Ark: Survival Evolved developer says it "reduced" the roles of 6 employees, and that it does not anticipate any further layoffs in 2024.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

May 16, 2024

2 Min Read
A character played by Vin Diesel and a small child ride a dinosaur in Ark 2.
Image via Studio Wildcard/Grove Street Games.

At a Glance

  • Studio Wildcard, the developer of Ark: Survival Evolved, has laid off a small number of employees.
  • The departure of 6 workers is not anticipated to impact development, the studio said.

Game Developer can confirm that Studio Wildcard has laid off six employees in the last week, in a move that the company said "will not impact" development on Ark: Survival Ascended or Ark 2.

Workers impacted by the cuts shared news of their dismissal earlier this week on LinkedIn, prompting us to reach out to the company.

In its response, Studio Wildcard emphasized that approximately 120 employees and contractors were still with the company, making these cuts one of the smaller ones we've seen in 2024. It added that it does not anticipate the need for additional cuts for the rest of the year.

That said, a layoff is a layoff, and it's curious as to what financial conditions would have led the company to eliminate jobs. Ark: Survival Ascended (a remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved) sold over 600,000 copies in its first two weeks, and the popularity of the sci-fi dinosaur-themed survival crafting game has stayed steady for many years.

Ark: Survival Ascended had a slightly chaotic rollout

This wouldn't be the first confusing business news from Studio Wildcard. In 2023, the company rapidly changed its plans for the debut of Ark: Survival Ascended, which initially was only set to be purchasable with a copy of Ark 2.

When that news first dropped, the company announced its intention to shut down the servers for Ark: Survival Evolved. Meaning if players wanted to keep up their thriving dinosaur farms, they needed to purchase the sequel.

After a brief brouhaha, Ark: Survival Ascended was released as a standalone game. "Our intention behind this was to provide a package where you essentially got two products for the price of one. In hindsight, not the best move," the company said.

Adding to the strangeness of this week's layoffs: if you visit the studio's website, you'll see a big red banner that reads "We're hiring! Click here for more info."

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About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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