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As initially noticed by Twitter user @Taleboules, numerous Striking Distance staff took to LinkedIn to report that Tuesday was their last day at the studio and they were now looking for work.
It’s not yet clear how widespread the layoffs are, but VGC has identified at least six staff members from design and production teams who have announced their departure.
These include associate producer Nora Falcon, production coordinator Sebastian Marlow, senior environment artist Matthew Smith, VFX artist Matt Christopherson, associate level designer Thomas Catalano and level design assistant Justin Fields.
It has now been confirmed that 32 employees have been laid off.
In a statement to IGN, a spokesperson for publisher Krafton said: “Striking Distance Studios and KRAFTON have implemented strategic changes that realign the studio’s priorities to better position its current and future projects for success. Unfortunately, these changes have impacted 32 employees.
“Honoring the invaluable contributions of each departing team member with material support in the form of outplacement services and meaningful severance packages is our top priority during this difficult moment.”
“Today marks my last day at Striking Distance Studios, ” Marlow posted on LinkedIn. “It’s been an absolute pleasure working here and I’m so proud of the work that everyone did to ship TCP and all of the DLC.
“I was impacted by the layoffs at Striking Distance Studios today and am looking for a new opportunity as a Senior Environment Artist / World Builder,” Smith added. “I’ve worked in games for over 10 years and have worked on both linear and open-world game projects.”
“As my time at Striking Distance Studios comes to an end, [I] have to thank all the collaborators and everyone on the VFX team for a fun ride,” Christopherson posted. “From shipping The Callisto Protocol, and subsequent DLC (get that Final Transmission folks!), a GDC talk, and looking to break new ground in R&D, couldn’t be more proud.”
“My time at Striking Distance Studios has unfortunately come to an end,” Catalano wrote. “It has been an incredible journey and I am grateful for every moment of it.”
Former Striking Distance staff reacted to the news and offered their support, including Patrick Bostwick, who was head of talent acquisition at Striking Distance when it was formed in 2019.
“I’m so sorry to see the layoffs at Striking Distance Studios,” Bostwick wrote on LinkedIn. It took many years to assemble such amazing talents. Without a doubt this group of people are some of the most talented in the industry.
“If there is anything I can do to help any of you, please look no further. If you and your team need AAA quality people, the best is ready and waiting.”
Former brand director Adam Krause added: “So sorry to hear about the layoffs at Striking Distance Studios today. To my friends and former colleagues, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. To everyone else, there are some insanely talented people on the lookout as of today. Please check them out.”
Like many less established triple-A titles released in the last year, The Callisto Protocol reportedly saw disappointing sales numbers at launch, failing to recoup a reported $162 million budget. This caused publisher Krafton to lower its target stock price in response.
According to Samsung Securities in January, Krafton had expected The Callisto Protocol to sell around five million copies. However, “considering the current sales ranking, cumulative sales of 2 million copies will not be easy until this year.”
Response to the game was mixed among critics, with its Metacritic score sitting at 68-70 depending on format.