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Sunshine Days developer Netspeak Games is making layoffs

The UK studio blamed the cuts on dwindling investment opportunities and the "challenging" industry landscape.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 17, 2024

2 Min Read
A group of characters party in Sunshine Days
Image via Netspeak Games

Sunshine Days developer Netspeak Games is laying off around 25 employees. The UK studio said the job cuts will allow it to "navigate through the increasingly challenging landscape of the current gaming industry."

Netspeak is currently iterating on its debut title, Sunshine Days, a village life sim that lets players use creator tools to carve out and customize their own corner of a blossoming rural town.

The title is targeting a tentative "Q1 2024" release date and will remain in production despite the layoffs.

Netspeak CEO Callum Cooper-Brighting added that Sunshine Days has successfully hit major development milestones that should have "easily triggered new investment," but seems to believe that cash has been hard to come by because "new IP is just a huge risk."

"That being said, external factors are only part of an ongoing, ever changing strategy. We have learned some valuable but expensive lessons in our time. Our definition of product market fit has evolved alongside our audience definition. Making something truly new takes time, energy and luck," he added in a blog post.

"And so, when we realized that without extra financial support (needed to combat the rise in price of UA across all channels as well as to keep cash flowing for a game with a long payback period) and after considering all other possible options, we unfortunately concluded that we will likely have to scale down our operations."

Cooper-Brighting explained the company is still looking at potential alternatives to redundancy and said it wants to "do right by the team members affected by this process."

"We're therefore running CV workshops, interview training and we're leveraging our extensive network of investors and portfolio companies," he continued. "Our commitment to providing excellent support and engagement for our community remains unwavering. We will continue to build Sunshine Days, ensuring that the game grows stronger and continues to bring our unique combination of surprise and delight to our players."

In a separate post on Linkedin, the CEO claimed Netspeak "tried everything under the sun" to avoid layoffs and will be firming up its restructuring plans in the coming weeks.

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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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