Lost Boys Interactive has reportedly become the latest Embracer-owned studio to undergo layoffs, as former producer Jared Pace said on LinkedIn (via Game Developer) that “a sizable portion” of its workforce has been let go.
The Lost Boys Interactive website describes the studio as “a wholly owned yet independent subsidiary of Gearbox Software,” and “a proud member of the Embracer Group.” Its past credits include Square Enix’s The Quiet Man, and less unfortunately, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and Diablo 4. It became a Gearbox studio less than two years ago, in June 2022.
We are happy to announce that Lost Boys Interactive is now officially part of the Gearbox Entertainment Family, and will be joining our mission to entertain the world!They will continue their work in providing services for a variety of developers across the video game industry. pic.twitter.com/c3vRm98rw2June 1, 2022
“It seems a sizable portion of Lost Boys Interactive was laid off today, including myself,” Pace wrote. “Still trying to understand the scope of it all, but sadly—this is a song and dance we’re all familiar with.”
“Even though I was spared in the company-wide layoff at Lost Boys Interactive, so many talented artists and flat-out fantastic people were let go,” Barone wrote. “I simply do not have the words to convey how much all of the relationships that I formed have meant to me personally and if anyone needs a reference do not hesitate to reach out.”
“Unfortunately, I am part of the people impacted by the layoffs at Lost Boys Interactive under the Gearbox/Embracer Group,” concept artist Patricia Lna-Anh D. wrote. “LBI is an amazing studio and has truly been a highlight of my career. I’ve enjoyed my time there with all the wonderful, quirky and talented folks who I will miss very much! I hope we cross paths again, best wishes to everyone and those affected!”
2023 was a brutal year for layoffs in the videogame and tech business and 2024 has so far been no better. Even though we’re only two weeks into the year, Bossa Studios, Unity, Twitch, and Discord have all made significant cuts to staffing already. Most of them have cited overly aggressive expansion during the opening years of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent need to “reset,” as Unity put it, but the Embracer Group is a unique case: After rapidly expanding into a genuine gaming behemoth, the Swedish holding company fell into trouble in May 2023 after a $2 billion investment deal, reportedly with Saudi Arabia’s Savvy Games, fell apart at the last minute. Since then, Embracer has laid off hundreds of employees across its studios, and closed Versus Evil, Free Radical Design, Campfire Cabal, and Volition outright.
I’ve reached out to Gearbox for more information on the layoffs and will update if I receive a reply.