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Unity is cutting 1,800 jobs in the name of "profitable growth"

The latest cuts represent around 25 percent of Unity's current workforce.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 9, 2024

2 Min Read
The Unity logo on a stylised background
Image via Unity

Unity is laying off around 1,800 workers to "position itself for long-term and profitable growth."

The engine maker reduced its headcount significantly during 2023 and intends to carry that trend into the new year, citing a need to restructure and refocus on its core business.

The company confirmed the news in an SEC filing and said the layoffs represent 25 percent of its current workforce.

Unity expects the costs and charges associated with the cuts—including severance payments and other payouts—to be largely incurred during the first quarter of 2024, but noted it cannot "reasonably estimate" how much the move will cost at this time.

The news comes a few months after Unity told shareholders it would "likely" be making layoffs, reducing its office footprint, and discontinuing some products following a "comprehensive" portfolio assessment.

Unity seeks to place customers first, but where does that leave workers?

Last November, interim CEO Jim Whitehurst said the company was attempting to implement a "customer-first business model" that would enable "faster revenue growth, improved profitability metrics, and increased cash flow."

Unity execs, however, have been singing that same tune for some time, and have already laid off a significant number of workers in pursuit of that goal.

The company started 2023 in the same fashion, cutting just under 300 jobs in January last year to become more streamlined. It followed those layoffs up by making another 600 workers redundant in May, again expressing a need to deliver "long-term and profitable growth."

Another 265 people were then laid off in November after Unity ended its agreement with digital effects company Weta FX.

It's a sequence of events that paints a tumultuous picture and one that played out in tandem with another disaster in the form of the Runtime Fee debacle, which saw Unity attempt to introduce a new levy on game installs before eventually backtracking after invoking the fury of the entire developer community.

Game Developer has contacted Unity to learn how the company intends to support those impacted by the latest layoffs and deliver stability moving forward.

Update: A Unity spokesperson has told Game Developer the decision to make layoffs "was not taken lightly" and said it will be supporting impacted employees throughout the process. 

"As part of our company reset outlined in our Shareholder Letter on November 9, 2023, we announced that Unity has made the difficult decision to implement a workforce reduction, targeting approximately 25 percent of our total workforce across all teams. This decision was not taken lightly, and we extend our deepest gratitude to those affected for their dedication and contributions," said Unity in a statement.

"We are committed to supporting impacted employees through this challenging transition. We appreciate the understanding and support of our community and stakeholders as we navigate these changes together."

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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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