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The last 48 hours have been traumatizing for workers in the video game industry with several companies announcing layoffs. Certain Affinity, the support studio for Halo and Call of Duty was one of the studios to announce layoffs.

Certain Affinity, Halo And Call Of Duty Support Studio, Lays Off 25 Employees

“Over the past 12 months the game industry has faced unprecedented challenges,” read an official statement by the company’s founder and CEO Max Hoberman announcing the layoff. “We are no exception. Today we made the extremely difficult decision to inform 25 of our US-based employees that their jobs are being eliminated. This has the most impact on the teams running our business operations.”

Certain Affinity was founded in 2006 and is based in Austin, Texas. From its inception, it has set the “goal of creating innovative, top-quality action games”. It also has a second studio in Toronto, Canada, and has worked on over 17 world-class franchises. According to the management, this was their first layoff in the history of the company. Certain Affinity hinted at the cause of the layoffs.

“There are multiple factors underlying this decision to do a layoff for the first time in our 17+ year history,” the statement continued. “Most significant is an industry-wide slowdown in the funding of new lead and co-development projects and the reluctance of third-party investors to fund games or game companies. This has made it exceptionally difficult to sign new work or secure other forms of funding.”

Certain Affinity, Halo And Call Of Duty Support Studio, Lays Off 25 Employees

“Our current focus is on our team and the well-being of those most impacted, whom we are supporting with severance pay and benefits continuation. We are also making their vested awards under our Stock Equity Plan portable so they may benefit from the company’s success in the future.

 

“We have built an amazing culture where we all come together to support one another in times of need. We ask for your understanding and patience while we navigate this unprecedented event. Thank you.”

Certain Affinity is working on an original FPS

 

In August last year, Certain Affinity announced that it was working on an original first-person shooter under the codename Loro. At that time, the company’s CEO said he pitched the title behind closed doors at Gamescom. According to Hoberman, the playable demo “put a lot of smiles on people’s faces”.

Certain Affinity, Halo And Call Of Duty Support Studio, Lays Off 25 Employees

At least one person working at Certain Affinity has posted about the layoff on LinkedIn. Mickey Molad who leads social media and community at Certain Affinity appears not to be directly impacted but said he would be leaving soon.

“I, myself, expect to transition away from Certain Affinity in the very near future, with my immediate priority helping my friends and colleagues move towards new work, and continuing to nurture the exciting opportunities on the horizon for Certain Affinity,” wrote Molad. “I am very grateful for my time at CA and am confident good things are coming for the company.”

It was estimated that around 10,000 jobs were lost in the video game industry last year. However, over 8,000 have either been lost or confirmed to be lost in the first three months of this year alone. At this rate, the job losses in the industry this year will likely topple that of last year by a long shot.

This week alone, Smilegate Barcelona was closed, and all its employees were made redundant. Nintendo of America announced it was letting go of several employees in the contractor, particularly in the testing division following the delay of Switch’s successor. Sega sold Relic Entertainment and cut 240 jobs in Europe. Layoffs were also announced at Creative Assembly.

While receiving an award for Baldur’s Gate 3 at the GDC, Larian Studios boss Swen Vincke said the layoffs in the industry were due to publisher greed. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer blamed it on the slow growth of the industry and said the industry is projected to shrink further next year.


Emecheta Christian

Emecheta Christian is an avid gamer with over 5 years in the industry. He is also a poet. It is therefore not surprising that his post sometimes read like poetry.

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