Starbreeze lays off 25% of its workforce

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Starbreeze, the struggling publisher of games including Payday 2 and Overkill's The Walking Dead, has announced that it will lay off approximately 60 employees—roughly 25 percent of its total workforce—in an effort to reduce costs and establish long-term profitability. The company said the layoffs are expected to be "fully implemented" in November 2019. 

"In the past six months we have made a number of changes to the business following our strategy to focus on the core business. We have divested some operations that we consider non-core and we now have to look inward to make the core business more efficient," Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark said. "To make staff reductions is a tough decision to make, but necessary to enable Starbreeze to develop well long-term." 

Starbreeze has been in a "challenging financial situation," as the company put it in the announcement, since late 2018, after Overkill's The Walking Dead tanked badly. It filed for reconstruction—essentially a last-ditch effort to avoid liquidation—in December, after which its office in Stockholm was raided by Swedish authorities over allegations of insider trading. Since then it's sold off publishing rights to games including System Shock 3 and 10 Crowns, as well as a studio, Dhruva Interactive

The layoffs are expected to reduce costs at the company by 3 million krona ($318,000) per month. Despite its efforts to stay afloat, however, Starbreeze said last month that the company won't make it another year without some form of external funding.   

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.