GOG lays off 'around a dozen' employees amid report of financial struggles

Digital distribution platform GOG has confirmed with Kotaku that it laid off roughly a dozen people last week. A reason for the cuts wasn't provided, but one of the employees who was let go told Kotaku that staff were told it was "a financial decision." 

"We have been rearranging certain teams since October 2018, effecting in closing around a dozen of positions last week," the company said in a statement. "At the same time, since the process started we have welcomed nearly twice as many new team members, and currently hold 20 open positions." 

In contrast to that rosy framing, the former employee said that GOG is "dangerously close to being in the red," and suggested that the trend toward a greater revenue share for developers—the Epic Game Store offers 88 percent of revenues to developers, compared to the 70 percent offered by GOG and Steam—will soon put pressure on GOG's bottom line, or already has.

"I mean, it’s just an odd situation, like things got really desperate really fast. I know that February was a really bad month, but January on the other hand was excellent," the employee said. "We were in the middle of a general restructuring, moving some teams around, not unprecedented. But layoffs that big have never happened before." 

12 employees may not sound like a terribly huge number on its own, but the ex-employee estimated that it accounted for about ten percent of GOG's staff. (According to LinkedIn, GOG employs between 51-200 people.) It also comes at a time of significant upheaval in the videogame industry: Earlier this month, Activision laid off 800 employees after announcing record-setting revenues for 2018, and Guild Wars developer ArenaNet also recently cut an unspecified number of employees.   

I've reached out to GOG for more information and will update if I receive a reply.   

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.