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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 covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.