Embracer confirms it has made 900 layoffs this year, or 5 percent of its workforce

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Embracer has announced its latest results, confirming the number of layoffs in 2023 and talking of further ‘divestment processes’.

The Q2 financial results for Embracer have been released, and the report finally puts a figure on the exact number of people who have been let go from the company this year: 900, or five percent of Embracer’s workforce.

Embracer announced a restructuring program in June after a $2bn deal fell through, which was allegedly with the Saudi-backed Savvy Games. The restructuring program has already resulted in the closure of the 30-year-old studio Volition, the developer behind the Saints Row games, and layoffs have been reported at other studios in the Embracer Group, including at the Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics.

Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors addressed the layoffs in the company’s latest financial report, saying: “As of September 30, 2023, the restructuring program contributed to Embracer’s first ever quarter-over-quarter reduction in headcount of around 900 people, or five percent of the workforce. In this group-wide effort, we are not only discontinuing a number of studios, we have also made staff reductions and reduced the number of projects in several other studios, with a focus on improving the projected return on investment within PC/Console.”

“It’s never easy to part ways with talented individuals. I would like to put on record a special thanks to the people who have
left Embracer in the quarter. These are difficult decisions and we do not take them lightly. For me, personally, it is crucial that the program is carried out with compassion, respect, and integrity.”

Wingefors goes on to say that Embracer is now “running a few structured divestment processes”, and that the company is in the “early stages of our plans to consolidate our businesses, including a review of our operative group structure.”

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands key art. Credit: Gearbox/2K
Gearbox released the Borderlands spinoff Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands in 2022. Credit: Gearbox/2K

One of those divestment processes could be the sale of Gearbox Software, the maker of the Borderlands games. An internal email revealed that Embracer was considering selling the studio back in September. In addition, there are unconfirmed reports that Free Radical Design, which has been working on a new Timesplitters game, could potentially be closed down.

Embracer’s Q2 report revealed that net sales in its PC/Console Games division between July and September fell by five percent compared with the same period last year. However, net sales in the Tabletop Games division (the company owns the board game maker Asmodee) rose by 25 percent. In fact, the net sales of the Tabletop Games division outstripped those of the PC/Console Games division, topping 4,070 million SEK for the quarter, compared with 3,909 million SEK for the games division. Across the group as a whole, net sales were up 13 percent year on year for the quarter.

Read more: More games industry layoffs, as Humble Games and Digital Bros downsize

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