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Phoenix Labs lays off staff, cancels games as part of major restructuring

Phoenix Labs appears to be making another round of layoffs, possibly eliminating more than 100 employees. Former LinkedIn employees report job loss and say all projects in development have been canceled.

News of the layoffs also comes from Polygon’s senior reporter. Nicole Carpentier, which says some laid-off developers mentioned being laid off during a mass Zoom call.

Phoenix Labs confirmed that it had laid off employees earlier today. The company wrote in a statement that it did so to “focus on our best live service titles, Intrepid And Fairy Farmand serve their communities.

The company said this restructuring was “a final restoration to ensure that Phoenix Labs can survive and thrive for the long term.”

On LinkedIn, former principal engineer Kris Morness said the layoffs were ordered to the owner of Phoenix Labs. Strong. The blockchain platform apparently acquired Phoenix Labs “over a year ago” in an undisclosed transaction. He corroborated a post from former UX lead Noah Watkins who indicated the studio’s next game was just weeks away from being announced.

Watkins said the game was “a few weeks away” from launching in early access.

Why is Phoenix Labs laying off employees?

Phoenix Labs spent 2023 grappling with major organizational changes, culminating in a series of layoffs in Can And December. The May layoffs followed the company’s separation from parent company Garena, developer of Garena’s Free Fire.

Aligning this timeline with Morness’ claim about Forte, it seems likely that the blockchain platform was a key part of the ownership change. It is unclear why his involvement was not made public.

Phoenix Labs did not address this purchase in its announcement.

In September, CEO Jesse Houston and COO Jeanne-Marie Owens have resigned from their positions for “personal reasons.” At the time, Houston said “the future has never been brighter” for Phoenix Labs. He praised the “incredible pipeline” of games in development.

It now appears that the pipeline has been shut down. This is of course another one in a long series of layoffs in the video game industry which have led to thousands of workers losing their jobs since the start of 2023.

Updated 05/16: This story has been updated with confirmation from Phoenix Labs regarding the pending layoffs.

The game developer has reached out to Phoenix Labs for comment and will update this story when a response is posted.

News Source : www.gamedeveloper.com
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