Devolver Digital have confirmed they’re cutting 28 people’s jobs at Artificer, the Polish studio behind Showgunners, the turn-based tactics game about a dystopian murderous gameshow. Most are gone immediately, while some will stay on until Artificer release their yet-unannounced next game. Artificer were previously owned by Good Shepherd Entertainment, a publisher Devolver bought in 2021.
“[On January 31st], Devolver and studio Artificer made the tough decision to reduce the Artificer workforce by 28 employees, 18 effective immediately and 10 after their current project releases,” Devolver told Kotaku.
“Over the past year, both companies have worked together to navigate the studio’s difficulties to ensure Artificer remains open and that their hard work is realised with the launch of their next game. Layoffs are not easy, and the remaining team at Artificer and Devolver Digital are committed to supporting these talented and creative professionals find new roles throughout the industry.”
Kotaku’s understanding is that’s about half the studio going.
Artificer was founded by some of the core people behind Hard West and Phantom Doctrine. Their debut game as Artificer was Showgunners, a turn-based squad tactics game about winning a deadly gameshow teeming with traps and violence. Think ‘The Running Man meets XCOM’. After launching in May 2023, it has a ‘Very Positive’ Steam player review rating. You can check out a demo on Steam, and it’s also sold on GOG and the Epic Games Store.
In other Devolver news, CEO Douglas Morin stepped down yesterday, to be replaced by co-founder and onetime CEO Harry Miller.
According to one tracker, the games industry suffered at least an estimated 5900 layoffs in January 2024. Many are at studies bought up and merged into others as part of the consolidation of the games industry. The same tracker estimated 10,500 industry layoffs in all of 2023. This year has barely begun. Best of luck to everyone out there.