Warframe developer Digital Extremes lays off staff

The news arrives after Digital Extremes replaced its long-serving CEO in October 2023.
Warframe digital extremes layoffs

Digital Extremes, the studio most known for developing Warframe and publishing Wayfinder, has initiated layoffs, with multiple employees of the studio impacted. The news arrives courtesy of Polygon, which reported the focus of the layoffs was on the company’s “external projects and publishing teams” – largely, those teams focussed on supporting Airship Syndicate with its work on Wayfinder.

It’s believed around 20 staff have now lost their jobs, although Digital Extremes has not officially confirmed the total number impacted by the layoffs. As part of this move, the studio will reportedly stop supporting Wayfinder, with full ownership of the action-MMO transferring to Airship Syndicate.

Notably, Wayfinder launched to mixed reviews in August 2023, with players criticising its gameplay grind, art direction, and world building. That said, many reviews also claim it could be a much better game eventually, with the right support and much-needed tweaks.

It appears this support will not come from Digital Extremes.

Read: On Warframe, Cosmic Horror, and Faustian Pacts with the Old Ones

“We can confirm we have made the difficult decision to cease operations of our external projects division,” a Digital Extremes spokesperson told Polygon. “We have had to say goodbye to a number of hardworking and highly valuable team members as a result.” According to one laid off employee, several members of the team now facing redundancy were recent hires.

Digital Extremes had been set to host a new Warframe Twitch stream this week, but has now cancelled its plans – likely to avoid backlash for its announced layoffs.

In recent months, a massive wave of game companies have initiated similar moves, cutting employee joys while also reporting high profits and game sales.

In 2023 alone, companies including Ubisoft, Media MoleculeBlizzardTeam17EACD Projekt RedRiot GamesAmazonAscendant StudiosPrivate Division, 2KVolitionFiraxisTelltale GamesCrystal Dynamics, and Epic Games have all announced layoffs – with more than 6,000 games industry jobs cut in the last year.

Unfortunately, we anticipate more cuts, as other companies take similar steps to mitigate rising financial pressure. Our thoughts are with those impacted by the layoffs at Digital Extremes.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.