Sega sell Company of Heroes developer Relic and lays off more staff at Creative Assembly and Hardlight

By admin Apr1,2024

Sonic Dream Team developer Hardlight and Total War studio Creative Assembly have been hit with a round of layoffs by publisher SEGA Europe, affecting around 240 roles across Creative Assembly, SEGA Europe, and Hardlight, via IGN.

Staff were notified by an email sent around this morning from SEGA Europe’s managing director Jurgen Post, alongside the news that Relic Entertainment, makers of Company of Heroes and Dawn of War, would be sold. As IGN point out, SEGA Europe studios Sports Interactive and Two Point Studios, makers of Football Manager and Two Point Hospital respectively, were not mentioned in the email.

Post went on to apologise to staff at Sega Europe, saying:

“I want to sincerely apologise for the worry and understandable distress this news will cause, particularly for those directly affected. Change is necessary to secure the future of our games business, and to ensure that we are well placed to deliver the best possible experiences to our players going forward.

We need to streamline, focus on what we are good at, and position ourselves as best we can for the road ahead. In order to do that, we need to respond to the changing economic landscape and the challenges we’re facing in the way we develop our products and bring them to market.”

Relic later issued their own statement on Xitter, thanking SEGA. “With an external investor,” the post reads, “Relic Entertainment will become an independently run development studio.”

These are the latest layoffs in what has been, bluntly, a real shitstorm of a year for the industry and the people who make anything of worth inside it, ostensibly thanks to the need for “streamlining” and “providing value”. Personally, I’d say it’s clearly down to a solid helping of mismanagement, absolute disrespect for the creative process, and good old-fashioned avarice, hubris, and my favorite Greek sin, corporate dipshitery.

In a statement released last April, the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega, a union set up to represent SEGA of America production and publishing workers, wrote:

“Our workers and our audience deserve games made by people who make a living wage…In our quest to reclaim our collective power we have built bridges with fellow workers from across our company in an effort to understand our shared issues, and those that are unique to each department… Nearly a third of Sega’s long-time workers still lack full-time status, paid time off, proper training, or even bereavement leave, despite dedicating years of their lives to Sega.”

Last night AEGIS-CWA announced they had ratified their first contract with Sega, via IGN.

Last May, Sega announced 121 job cuts at Relic. Hyenas, Sega’s most expensive game to date, was canceled in September, leading to more layoffs at Creative Assembly, as detailed in this statement via Xitter. Sega of America announced the layoff of 61 staff in January of this year, despite negotiations by the AEGIS-CWA.

By admin

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