Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios Group is closing the Montreal studio it acquired just 8 months ago

Riding a motorbike away from an explosion in Just Cause 4.
(Image credit: Avalanche Studios)

The depressing, alarming, infuriating trend of videogame industry layoffs continued unabated today with news that Avalanche Studios Group, best known for the Just Cause series, is closing two of its offices, in Montreal and New York, and putting around 50 people out of work.

"Since its inception over two decades ago, Avalanche Studios Group has grown to encompass five locations worldwide: Stockholm, New York, Malmo, Liverpool, and Montreal," Avalanche said in a message posted on its website (via GameDeveloper). "Today, we regretfully announce the closure of two of those locations: New York and Montreal. This means we'll be parting ways with around 50 valued friends and colleagues, which represents roughly 9% of Avalanchers worldwide.

"This is an exceptionally difficult decision, but we believe it's necessary to ensure a stable and sustainable future for the company."

Avalanche Studios has indeed been around for more than 20 years (although Avalanche Studios Group, encompassing the original Avalanche Studios along with Expansive Worlds and Systemic Reaction, wasn't formed until 2020) but the Montreal office didn't even last one: It was founded in October 2023 after ASG acquired Monster Closet, a studio founded in 2021 by veterans of Ubisoft

For those without a calendar handy, that's eight months from acquisition to closure: That has to be a kick in the guts for Avalanche's Montreal employees, and I expect it will result in no meaningful consequences for any of the executives involved.

The Avalanche office closures are the latest in a deluge of layoffs and shutdowns that have plagued the videogame industry since early 2023. Just last week, Kerbal Space Program 2 developers confirmed that layoffs are coming to Intercept Games at the end of June as part of sweeping cuts at Take-Two Interactive; earlier in May, Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs laid off "many" employees and cancelled work on unannounced projects in what the studio said was "the last resort to ensure Phoenix Labs can survive."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.