Veteran German game developer Fishlabs is the latest Embracer-owned studio to suffer layoffs, VGC understands.
On Tuesday, Embracer Plaion exec Lars Janssen told staff that around 50 people at the Hamburg-based studio will be laid off, sources told VGC, with the exec claiming a “lack of approval and financing” for an in-development project left it with “no other choice”.
VGC has requested comment from Plaion and Embracer.
According to LinkedIn, Fishlabs was comprised of around 120 people. Many of its employees posted on the platform on Tuesday, confirming they’d been made redundant.
Plaion has confirmed VGC’s story and said its “restructuring” at Fishlabs is expected to impact around 50 positions.
“Despite exhaustive efforts to avoid downsizing, the lack of approval and therefore financing for the studio’s unannounced project (also referred to as “Project Black”) has made this step unavoidable,” a spokesperson said. “The remaining team will continue to work on the existing co-development projects in partnership with other Plaion and Embracer Group studios.
“We understand the profound impact of this decision on our talented team at Fishlabs and are committed to handling this transition with the utmost respect and care. To support those affected, Plaion is committed to providing comprehensive support, including severance packages as well help with career transition services.”
“Due to my third project cancellation this year, and yet another Embracer mass layoffs at Fishlabs, I am looking for a new position,” wrote one designer.
“I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,” wrote an artist. “A lot of people and friends are/were affected over the last months despite our efforts to produce an amazing experience for the players.”
Founded in 2004, Fishlabs is best known for 2021’s space combat game Chorus, as well as the Galaxy of Fire series on mobile.
For the past six months Embracer has been carrying out a “restructuring program” which has already seen some game studios closed and some projects cancelled.
VGC reported earlier this month that Free Radical is at threat of being closed by owner Embracer Group, just two years after it was established.