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On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, news started filtering in that Humble Games had laid off an undisclosed number of staff. A former employee of the company Estelle Skeels who worked as a Lead Release Manager shared the news on LinkedIn asking for assistance from her connections to land new roles.

“Hi everyone,” Skeels began. “It’s a sad day at Humble Games for a lot of folks. I personally was just laid off from my Lead Release Manager position. I am looking for a new role and would appreciate your support. Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer for game producer or release manager roles.”

Skeels faulted those who were more eager to know the number of people impacted by the layoff. According to her, “When you have one ounce of empathy, you realize the impact of layoffs is on the people who are laid off, of course, but also on the people who are not laid off”.

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Back in April 2022, Humble Games, a retailer turned to publisher cut multiple ecommerce roles. However, the recent round of layoffs is coming a few months after the general manager of Humble Games, Alan Patmore, suggested studio acquisition as part of the company’s long-term plan.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical

It’s hard to tell if that plan is still viable in the company’s future blueprint. Perhaps, one may even argue that the reason for the layoff was for the company to save up money from wages and channel it towards the actualization of that goal.

Chris Radley, an Illustration art director at UVS Games called the layoff at Humble Games “an epic failure of management on so many levels”. Furthermore, he promised to keep “an eye out for any position that would be a good fit for anyone who was let go, as those people lived and breathed the company values and were let down by the people in charge”.

Humble Games confirms layoffs without disclosing numbers

According to Video Games.si, a representative of Humble Games reached out to them to confirm the layoff which was blamed on restructuring. However, one thing that was not contained in the statement was the number of employees impacted by the company’s restructuring drive.

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“Yesterday was a difficult day for Humble Games and we can confirm that we had to say goodbye to valued colleagues,” read the statement from the company’s representative. “Like many companies this year, we have experienced trends that required this restructure in order to ensure our long-term success.”

The company’s spokesperson mentioned that all the impacted employees were talented and dedicated individuals who have contributed immensely to the company’s growth. However, it is hard to reconcile why a company will be willing to part ways with highly talented and dedicated individuals.

“Humble Games remains focused and committed to working with amazing indie developers to bring their experiences to players around the world in the years ahead.”

Humble Games spokesperson via videogames.si

Humble Games describes itself as a small and dedicated remote team bound by a shared love for games and values. Humble Games is the video game publishing arm owned by Humble Bundle which is a storefront for games.

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Humble Bundle usually offers packages that include video games eBooks, and software. These packages are usually cheap and part of the proceeds are donated to charity. Some of the games that Humble Games have published include the 2017 Slay the Spire which turned out to be a hit.

The company was also responsible for publishing Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical which won the Australia Game Developer Awards back in October. The game also bagged a Grammy Award nomination. At the time of writing this post, the company had a couple of job openings—notwithstanding the layoffs.

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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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