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Outriders Developer People Can Fly Lays Off Around 30 Employees

Outriders Developer People Can Fly Lays Off Around 30 Employees

The wind of layoffs continues to blow through the gaming industry. The latest studio to announce layoffs is Poland-based People Can Fly, the developer of popular titles like Outriders and Bulletstorm. According to a Kotaku report, the layoff was reportedly made on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.

Outriders Developer People Can Fly Lays Off Around 30 Employees
Group photograph of People Can Fly employees (Photo credit: People Can Fly)

A source familiar with the matter who provided screenshots to confirm the layoffs said the redundancy affected staff working on an unannounced game, codenamed Project Gemini, which was supposed to be published by Square Enix and given a 2026 launch window.

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People Can Fly’s development director Adam Alker sent an email to staff working on Project Gemini—which Kotaku sighted—explaining the reason for the layoffs to include budget constraints and shrinking scope.

“We understand that this decision impacts each of you, and we want to express our gratitude for your hard work, dedication, and contribution thus far,” Alker said in the internal email.

“To those individuals transitioning out of the studio due to these changes, we extend our sincere appreciation for the skills and expertise you brought to the team. We will keep our fingers crossed for your next steps in game dev and offer all our support.”

Outriders Developer People Can Fly Lays Off Around 30 Employees

It was reported that the layoff affected about 30 people. However, around 20 people cut from the project were drafted into other projects at People Can Fly. Due to local regulations, impacted employees working in Poland will get a 3-month transition period that will see their appointment terminated on April 30, 2024. However, those outside Poland will be without jobs by the end of the week.

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The fate of Project Gemini is currently unknown following the layoffs at People Can Fly. It is unclear if the release window will be impacted. However, an unnamed source told Kotaku that due to the reduced budget, the campaign mode of the upcoming game will be shorter and the enemy roster trimmed.

Reactions regarding the layoffs at People Can Fly

Outriders Developer People Can Fly Lays Off Around 30 Employees

People react to layoffs differently. While some easily talk about it openly and solicit help in finding new roles, others are more conservative about their condition. We spotted two posts from former employees of People Can Fly who have now updated their availability to #OpenToWork.

“The recent layoffs in the industry caught up to me as well and I have to part ways and end my flight at People Can Fly,” wrote Dimitar Musev who worked with the studio as a senior-level designer. “I’d like to keep working remotely and be close to my loved ones, but I am flexible to a hybrid model depending on the circumstances.”

The second mention of the layoff we spotted was from Francisco who was grateful for the experiences he had gained and the people he had worked with. He mentioned a few names. It appears Francisco is one of those working in the Polish studio since his last day of work will be April 30, 2024.

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“Hi everyone, sadly there has been a scope reduction at People Can Fly Studio today and I have been one of the many affected by this layoff,” Francisco wrote. “I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me for being their first intern in the whole company and for being promoted to junior last year. I will take this as an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. My last day working with them will be on the 30th of April 2024. I will be looking for fully remote jobs only, I would appreciate your support.

People Can Fly celebrated its 20th anniversary back in 2022. The studio was a property of Epic Games from 2012 to 2015. They have great titles on their portfolio including Painkillers, Gears of War: Judgment, Bulletstorm, and Outriders which was produced in collaboration with Square Enix.

As of July 2023, People Can Fly had 8 titles in development across their studios. In the same month, they announced a collaboration to develop a new title for Xbox Game Studios codenamed Project Maverick. The new IP was to be fully funded by Microsoft and was expected to have a budget of between $30 and $50 million.