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Layoffs Hit Artificer, Showgunners Developer. Around 50% Of Employees Impacted

Layoffs Hit Artificer, Showgunners Developer. Around 50% Of Employees Impacted

Layoffs hit Polish video game maker, Artificer, on the last day of January. The Warsaw-based company which has been part of Devolver family since 2021 had let go of about 25 employees. Founded in 2019, Artificer released its turn-based tactics game Showgunners in May 2023, two years after it was acquired by Devolver Digital.

Layoffs Hit Artificer, Showgunners Developer. Around 50% Of Employees Impacted

Devolver Digital has yet to make a statement about the layoffs. Devolver took ownership of Artificer in 2021 through the acquisition of their parent company Good Shepherd Entertainment which purchased a majority stake in Artificer in 2019.

Sources familiar with the matter told Kotaku that about 25 people were axed from the studio on the last day of January while another 10 to 12 will be laid off after they complete the polishing of the studio’s next unannounced game in a few months. The reason for the downsizing was not yet clear at the time of writing this post.

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Artificer’s official website mentioned that the studio had over 40 talented developers, including many award-winning veterans. If that number was accurate before the layoff, it would mean that roughly 50% of the studio employees were laid off.

While such a deep cut can easily affect any game that the studio had in development, Artificer also mentioned that they often get help from contributors. The studio management said that they “envision Artificer to become the best studio for ambitious creatives; in a sustainable way, without demanding any personal sacrifices”. Hopefully, the laid-off employees will share the same sentiment.

Layoffs Hit Artificer, Showgunners Developer. Around 50% Of Employees Impacted

Artificer was formed by a team of developers that formerly worked with CreativeForge Games, the studio behind Hard West and Phantom Doctrine. In fact, when GameBaba Universe visited Artificer’s website, we discovered that Hard West and Phantom Doctrine were featured in the website banner alongside Showgunners.

Impacted Artificer devs have confirmed the layoffs

While there is no official statement from Artificer management, GameBaba Universe has confirmed the layoff in the Polish studio through the posts made by former employees of the studio. Some of the former employees of the studio did not make posts about the layoff but updated their profiles to show they were open to new opportunities.

One particular former employee of the studio made a post soliciting support in finding a pro artist that offers paid mentorship programs. The former employee wrote, “My focus point is realism and expressionism, so I’ll accept both recommends”.

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“Another day, another round of layoffs in gamedev,” wrote Olga Ilukowicz who worked at Artificer as a narrative designer. “Looking for opportunities as narrative Designer or Game Writer.”

“Hello everyone! I am asking for your support in finding a new job,” wrote Paweł Stróż in Polish which GameBaba Universe was able to translate. He worked at Artificer as a 3D animator. “Thank you in advance for any contacts, advice, or opportunities you may offer.”

Layoffs Hit Artificer, Showgunners Developer. Around 50% Of Employees Impacted

Bartosz Danielak who was a level artist with Artificer also made a post confirming he was laid off from the company. Danielak’s post was also made in Polish but GameBaba Universe was able to translate the message to English.

“Today’s roulette hit me and a lot of my friends at Artificer,” wrote Danielak. “As of today, I am looking for a job as a Mid-Level Artist, Mid Enviro Artist, or Junior Lighting Artist. If possible, please share.”

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GameBaba Universe has included a link to the profiles of all the impacted devs mentioned in this post so that it will be easy for anyone who has an open opportunity to visit their profiles.

Massive waves of layoffs in the game industry began last year. By the end of the year, an estimated 10,000 people had lost their jobs. That trend is yet to subside. Over 6,000 people lost their jobs in the game industry in January this year alone. Our heart goes out to all those impacted by layoffs this year.