Wayfinder, Warframe publisher Digital Extremes cuts workers, divests from Wayfinder
Wayfinder publisher Digital Extremes laid off an unknown number of employees on Thursday, according to several impacted people. The layoffs were focused on the company’s external projects and publishing teams, which were handling Airship Syndicate’s Wayfinder. The layoffs come after Digital Extremes, which released Warframe in 2013, replaced founder James Schmalz with former Warframe creative director Steve Sinclair as the new CEO in October.
At least 20 people were let go, two people said. Digital Extremes has not confirmed how many workers were cut. The future of Digital Extremes publishing games like Wayfinder is also unclear. Digital Extremes is looking to focus its resources internally, and will stop supporting Wayfinder. It will transfer full ownership over the new few months to developer Airship Syndicate, a Digital Extremes representative told Polygon. Action MMO Wayfinder was released in early access on Aug. 17 to mixed reviews, originally supported by both Airship Syndicate and Digital Extremes.
“We can confirm we have made the difficult decision to cease operations of our external projects division,” a Digital Extremes representative told Polygon. “We have had to say goodbye to a number of hardworking and highly valuable team members as a result.”
Digital Extremes had a Warframe Twitch stream scheduled for Thursday, which has since been postponed.
One laid off worker told Polygon that Digital Extremes was their dream job. “I’m sick to my stomach,” they said. “I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent.” Multiple impacted people were just recently hired within the past three months, they said.
If it feels like video game studios are cutting jobs every few days, that’s because they are — over the past few weeks, hundreds of people have been laid off across the industry. On Tuesday, it was nearly 100 people at Ubisoft. Before that, Destiny 2 developer Bungie went through layoffs. In late September, Epic Games cut 16% of staff, leaving more than 800 people without jobs. A website tracking game industry layoffs has counted more than 6,000 lost jobs this year alone.
Update: This story has been updated with comment from Digital Extremes.
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