Firaxis Games, the studio known for its work on Marvel’s Midnight Suns, XCOM, and Civilization, has been hit with a fresh round of layoffs, as parent company Take-Two continues its cost-reduction measures. Around 30 developers have reportedly been laid off, with these roles being cut for ‘efficiency’.
This decision was made due to a ‘sharpening of focus, enhancements of efficiencies, and an alignment of talent against [the company’s] highest priorities,’ a spokesperson for Firaxis publisher 2K Games recently told Axios. ‘The studio remains focused on developing critically acclaimed video games.’
In early 2023, Firaxis announced work on the next mainline game in the Civilization series, which is set to be overseen by Civilization 6 lead designer, Ed Beach. Whether these layoffs will dramatically impact work on this title is unknown, but a seeming 10% reduction in the studio workforce (the total headcount is around 250 employees, per LinkedIn employee figures) is likely to shake up plans.
At this stage, a clear reason for these layoffs beyond ‘efficiency‘ has not been revealed – although the relative disappointment of Marvel’s Midnight Suns may have contributed to this decision.
In late 2022, Take-Two revealed a cost reduction program was necessary after a number of titles released in Q3 FY23 performed poorly – including blockbuster Marvel collaboration Midnight Suns, PGA Tour 2K23, and New Tales from the Borderlands. The company anticipated around ‘US $50 million of annual savings’ to result from these cost-cutting measures.
In early 2023, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz that layoffs were necessary for the company, but would not be sweeping.
‘We continue to support and build our development teams, and where we have overhead, we have to be very diligent about looking at the overhead,’ Zelnick said. ‘We don’t expect any kind of broad-based reduction in force. We are going department by department and trying to drive efficiency.’
Our thoughts are with those impacted by the layoffs at Firaxis Games.