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Ubisoft is shutting down its London studio

Ubisoft London's shutdown marks the first big studio to close its doors in the month of September.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 14, 2023

1 Min Read
Shark vs. Sharkjira in the key art for Ubisoft London's Hungry Shark Evolution.

Ubisoft's London office is being closed down as part of the French developer's aims to "enhance efficiency and streamline operations." Per VGC, the subsidiary's closure will affect 54 people, and this marks the first big studio shutdown for the month of September. 

Formerly known as Future Games of London, the studio is best known for its Hungry Shark mobile games, which collectively hit 1 billion downloads in February. It was founded in 2009 and acquired by Ubisoft in 2013 following the release of the original Hungry Shark

Transitions for Ubisoft mobile franchises

That series will be transferred over to Ubisoft's Barcelona studio (another mobile developer), which began developing titles for it starting with 2018's Hungry Dragon. As it "already oversees a portion of [the series," Ubisoft "proposed the consolidation of the ongoing management of the Hungry Shark franchise."

"We are sincerely grateful to our colleagues in London for all their passionate contributions to making the franchise what it is today," wrote Ubisoft, "and we are committed to supporting them throughout the process with the utmost consideration."

Back in May, Ubisoft announced a series of layoffs across its customer service offices in the UK and North Carolina. Both sets of layoffs follow the cancellation of three unannounced projects at the start of 2023, which themselves were incited by a weak holiday 2022 season.

More broadly, the closure of Ubisoft London comes after August was a particularly layoff-heavy month for the video game industry. Various studios such as Volition and Mimimi Games closed their doors, while others (such as BioWare and Gearbox) saw layoffs of dozens or more.

The spree of layoffs has continued throughout September, with cuts earlier this week at Visual Concepts and Rainbow Studios.

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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