Swedish video game holding company Thunderful Group has announced plans to lay off a fifth of its staff.
The group – which consists of around 30 subsidiaries including seven development studios and three publishers (including Rising Star Games) – released a statement today saying it was planning “to restructure operations for strengthened long-term competitiveness”.
According to the statement, the restructuring is down to a number of “over-investments” made by Thunderful in the last few years.
“These investments have proven unsustainable given the current industry climate, which has resulted in the Group being particularly affected by challenging market conditions,” it explains.
“The new management team and the board of directors have identified the need to restructure the Group and focus its efforts on the strategic assets with the best long-term prospects.”
The company now plans to lay off around 20% of its workforce. According to its website, it currently has “close to 500 employees in Europe”, which means around 100 employess will be affected.
“To ensure and strengthen the viability of the Group, we have found no alternative other than to reduce costs and focus the business on areas with the best future growth and profitability prospects,” Thunderful Group CEO Martin Walfisz said in a statement.
“It has been difficult to make these decisions, and it saddens me that we will have to say goodbye to many skilled colleagues and partners. Nevertheless, I am convinced that this is a necessary direction for Thunderful and that these changes will make the company a stronger player in the market.”
Job losses across the games industry were widespread in 2023, and don’t appear to be slowing this year.
Companies impacted by layoffs last year include Media Molecule, Codemasters, Xbox Game Studios, Epic Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, CD Projekt, Unity, Ubisoft, Riot Games, Blizzard, BioWare, Striking Distance, Team17, Frontier Developments, Telltale Games, Digital Extremes, Amazon and Digital Bros.
Thunderful’s fellow Swedish holding company Embracer Group is also in the process of implementing a restructuring programme which started in June 2023 and has involved the closure of studios, layoffs and the cancellation of some projects.
During its second financial quarter ending in September 2023, the company made more than 900 layoffs, with cuts impacting such studios as Crystal Dynamics, Beamdog, Zen Studios and Fishlabs. Last month Embracer also made layoffs at New World Interactive, 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks, and earlier this week it was revealed that “a sizable portion” of Gearbox support studio Lost Boys Interactive was also laid off.