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Lost Boys Interactive is the latest Embracer-owned studio to be hit by layoffs. The move is a continuation of Embracer Group’s restructuring which was announced in June 2023. Several former employees of the studio took to social media to pour out their grief in what one of the former employees called “massive”.

Embracer-Owned Lost Boys Interactive Hit By “Massive” Layoff, 170 Reportedly Affected

The number of employees affected by the layoffs is not clear at the time of writing this post. However, Alexander Rehm, director of Live Ops at People can Fly said the layoff affected 170 people. According to the studio’s website, there used to be over 400 employees before the layoff. Nicholas Compton, Art Project Manager at Lost Boys Interactive, created a Google Sheet where he asked “everybody who wants to be identified who was laid off” to fill in their information.

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Compton promised to make sure that over 100,000 people see the resumes of all those who filled the sheet. At the time of writing this post, 63 former employees have already filled the sheet which has columns for name, title, years of experience, current location, willingness to relocate/ remote only, LinkedIn profile, and about me.

Lost Boys Interactive is only the latest in a long list of Embracer-owned studios that have suffered layoffs in the last few months. In the last earnings call of 2023, Embracer executives confirmed that they have let go of over 900 employees since the start of the restructuring.

Embracer-Owned Lost Boys Interactive Hit By “Massive” Layoff, 170 Reportedly Affected

The restructuring was initiated after Embracer lost a $2 billion proposed deal with the Saudi Savvy Games Group. Embracer had about 17,000 employees before the restructuring. Some Embracer-owned studios were shuttered effective immediately, including Saints Row developer Volition Games and TimeSplitters developer Free Radical Designs.

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Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics, Beamdog, and 3D Realms have all announced deep cuts in headcount—although none of them were shuttered. Embracer said last June that the restructuring would continue through March 2024 and that more layoffs were expected.

Former Lost Boys Interactive employees are reacting to the layoff

Embracer-Owned Lost Boys Interactive Hit By “Massive” Layoff, 170 Reportedly Affected

Tiny Tina’s Wonderland

Founded in 2017, Lost Boys Interactive was acquired in 2022 by Embracer through its Gearbox Software division. Lost Boys Interactive is a support studio that has worked on high-profile AAA games including Diablo IV and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland. Take-Two Interactive, 2K Games’s parent company which has published games for Gearbox Software said Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands “exceeded expectations”.

Like every layoff in the game industry since 2023, not everyone is willing to speak up. However, among all the comments from the studio’s former employees, one of the most heartbreaking that we read was the one from Rachel M who worked as an author and narrative designer.

“Hey everyone, need a job immediately as Lost Boys Interactive has laid me off (3rd layoff in a row in the video game industry) in the middle of a severe mental and physical health crisis, when I am 10,000% broke and have to start repaying student loans,” Rachel wrote.

The layoff appeared to have cut across different departments of the studio including art, animators, designers, developers, producers, and quality assurance.

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“Unfortunately, I have been impacted by layoffs today at Lost Boys Interactive,” wrote Baqir Shah, a senior-level designer who started working in the studio less than a year ago. “I am now looking for a new role. If anyone is looking for a senior or lead level designer, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”

Interestingly, we went to the career section of the LBI website and found that the studio currently has an opening called “General Application”. It doesn’t make sense that a studio that has carried out a massive layoff would simultaneously have a running job advert. Perhaps they just forgot to update the page.

This year started like it ended for video game workers. However, we hope that things will stabilize sooner rather than later. While the chances are slim considering increased AI adoption in the industry, we can only hope for the best.