26 staff have been laid off at Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition studio Beamdog

A still from a Baldur's Gate cutscene showing an armoured figure holding someone by the throat
(Image credit: Beamdog)

Beamdog, the studio founded by former BioWare developers Trent Oster and Cameron Tofer, is best known for re-releases of CRPGs like Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2, Planescape: Torment, Neverwinter Nights, and Icewind Dale. It was acquired by Embracer Group earlier this year, and its latest game, Mythforce (which is basically Vermintide if it looked like a He-Man cartoon) came out of early access this month. It's the kind of online co-op game that would benefit from robust post-launch support, which makes now a particulaly rough time for 26 members of the team to be laid off.

Among them is associate graphic artist Jill Hollet, who wrote on LinkedIn, "Regrettably, as part of the Embracer Group's ongoing restructuring initiative, Beamdog made the difficult decision to release 26 employees, myself among them. I am incredibly grateful to them for affording me the opportunity to embark upon my professional journey in the industry. It has been an honor to collaborate with such exceptional individuals during my time there."

Embracer Group went on an acquisition spree in 2021 and 2022, snaffling up Gearbox, Saber Interactive, Koch Media (rebranded as Plaion), Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix Montreal, Middle-earth Enterprises, Tripwire, and others. Its fortunes turned around with the collapse of a $2 billion deal, which necessitated restructuring, in the form of a string of layoffs and studio closures. 

Saints Row studio Volition was closed down, and Borderlands developer Gearbox is rumored to be up for sale. Embracer also closed Campfire Cabal, a studio headed by the creator of the Expeditions series of RPGs.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.