Until Dawn studio Supermassive Games to lay off around a quarter of its staff

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Supermassive, the British studio behind such horror hits as Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology, is to lay off around 90 staff, citing “significant challenges.”

With such hit horror games as 2015’s Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology series behind it, Supermassive Games is one of the UK’s most successful studios.

Despite this, the Surrey-based company has announced that it’s to lay off around 90 members of staff – equating to about a quarter of its employees, which is said to number around the 350 mark.

Bloomberg first reported the news (via Eurogamer), and while those numbers haven’t been officially confirmed by Supermassive, the studio has confirmed that a “reorganisation” is underway which will result in multiple job losses.

“It’s no secret that the games industry is currently facing significant challenges,” a statement posted on Twitter/X reads, “and unfortunately we aren’t immune to this.”

“After much deliberation and with deep regret, we are therefore undertaking a reorganisation of Supermassive Games. As a result, we are entering into a period of consultation, which we anticipate will result in the loss of some of our colleagues.

“This is not a decision that’s been taken lightly, with many efforts made to avoid this outcome.”

Founded in 2008, Supermassive initially developed DLC for LittleBigPlanet and carried out some other contract work for Sony before making the hugely popular interactive horror Until Dawn, which starred Rami Malek and Hayden Panettiere. Its popularity led to other horror adventures in a similar vein, beginning with The Dark Pictures Anthology, which began in 2019 with Man Of Medan and is set to continue with the upcoming Directive 8020, and 2022’s The Quarry.

Only a few weeks ago, we heard that Until Dawn is getting a port to PS5 and PC, while a film adaptation of the game is also in the works. From the outside, at least, Supermassive looked as though it was in rude health.

In 2022, however, Supermassive was acquired by Danish entertainment firm Nordisk; by January 2024, co-founders Pete and Joe Samuels had left the studio.

The Supermassive announcement is but the latest in an unfathomably long string of losses across the industry, with a report published in January warning that 2024 could be a year of closures and further doom and gloom for the videogame sector. Sadly, that report’s more downbeat predictions are already looking all-too accurate.

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