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.