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Epic Games sheds 830 people due to 'spending way more money than we earn'

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Recent industry news doing the rounds is from Epic Games, who yesterday publicly shared an email that was sent by Tim Sweeney about laying off 16% of the company. 830 people lost their job due to "spending way more money than we earn" as they continue "investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators".

That is a lot of people, and clearly shows that Epic Games have been relying a lot on Fortnite money. While Fortnite is "starting to grow again" Sweeney said it's being driven now by player-made content which has "significant revenue sharing, and this is a lower margin business than we had when Fortnite Battle Royale took off and began funding our expansion".

In the post Sweeney mentioned how Epic has been making efforts to reduce costs like "moving to net zero hiring and cutting operating spend on things like marketing and events" but all of this "ended up far short of financial sustainability" so getting rid of staff was "the only way" they could stabilize.

Epic is also selling off Bandcamp to B2B music company Songtradr, which they only acquired in 2022, as clearly they didn't actually have a business plan for it to sell it off so quickly. They're also spinning off most of SuperAwesome that they acquired in 2020, who say they are acquiring most of it back themselves directly.

Psyonix, maker of Rocket League, was also(1) affected(2) since Epic acquired them back in 2019 and then made it exclusive to the Epic Store.

The developer Mediatonic who made Fall Guys was also impacted by this, since Epic acquired them in 2021 and then made Fall Guys exclusive to the Epic Store. It's not clear how badly they've been affected but Ed Fear (Game Lead) who was laid off showed off a picture on X that showed "Decimated", with many others also posting about being let go so Mediatonic appears to have been hit quite hard by this.

No doubt the exclusives and constant free games on the Epic Store cost a lot of monies.

What do you think to this news? Leave a comment.

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Mohandevir Sep 29, 2023
This and this. It makes total sense. Times are hard at Epic and I'm not the one to be sad about it. They dig their own grave. This shady company could be driven through the ground, for my part.

"I love the smell of desperation in the morning"

Last edited by Mohandevir on 29 September 2023 at 12:36 pm UTC
Kithop Sep 29, 2023
One more reminder that with the Unity fallout, the solution wasn't going to be 'switch to Unreal', because there's nothing stopping them from being about to try to pull the exact same move.
Lanz Sep 29, 2023
Quoting: Pengling
Quotea metaverse-inspired ecosystem
Quotemoving to net zero hiring
How many buzzwords does this guy use? Yikes!

Seriously, though, this is yet another example of why consolidation is bad for everyone. Why is it never the high-ups who took the company in this direction who lose their jobs for it?

Those are exactly the kind of buzzwords he has to use to get BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street to give him more money. It's not an accident.
Pengling Sep 29, 2023
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Quoting: LanzThose are exactly the kind of buzzwords he has to use to get BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street to give him more money. It's not an accident.
They just sound like gibberish.
14 Sep 29, 2023
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Quoting: StoneColdSpider
Quoting: constThey could have just gone to fair competition practices and turning their store into something viable, but laying of people is just so much easier.

As someone who has worked in mega large soulless corporations for over 2 decades........ They will always...... ALWAYS go the easy route........ Even if it blows up and costs them more in the long term....... The board and the CEO will just leave with their golden handshakes and someone else will come in with some other lazy solution to the current mess and the cycle continues.......

For example....... one company I worked for wanted software for a certain application....... Instead of getting the already employed company software engineers to make the software...... They scouted around and found another company that was making software that would fit their needs....... They then bought that company...... Then proceeded to fire everyone from the newly bought company......... AND then found out the software wasnt anywhere near finished and wasnt useable at all........

The CEO left with a multi million dollarydoo golden handshake and a new CEO came in and their solution was just to scrap the entirety of the code we had and go scouting for a third party to make the software........

And the kicker is that they didnt use the companies own software engineers because....... "The company did not see any value in getting them to make the software"........

I use to like reading Dilbert...... But hes now to close to reality to be funny........

Sorry for the off topic rant...... But this kind of stuff really *BEEPS* me off..........
I think your comment on being mega large and soulless has nothing to do with it. Is Amazon mega large? Absolutely. Do they do the same thing you described? No, they don't. Amazon does push existing people to do new and hard things. I bet you would still say Amazon is soulless. I'm not here to convince you otherwise, however my point is what you're highlighting is related to smart or stupid business decisions, not goodwill to humanity.

When I see news like this, it just reminds me it's how our economy incentives are for companies. You must grow forever! Well, once the market is saturated and you can't attract more customers to your products, you acquire smaller companies, their products, and their customers. Yay for the financial books. But, eventually, the bubble bursts and you have to reset.

The video game industry is of course entertainment, which is lower on the priority list when times get tough. People spend less on games when grocery bills go up, ya know? During Covid, entertainers were like the only non-essential workers if you recall.

Epic Games is a private company, so they don't have to be transparent about their finances. That aspect is a little shame because employees could have seen the writing on the wall and either chose to ignore it or plan ahead.
Cybolic Sep 29, 2023
Oh yay! Bandcamp is free again! That's excellent news!
Salvatos Sep 29, 2023
Yeah, I was going to ask if anyone has dirt on Songtradr, because Epic letting go of Bandcamp before ruining it is (tentatively) a big relief.

As for the rest, can’t say I’m surprised. That’s what they always do.
Schattenspiegel Sep 29, 2023
Tja Tim, der Fisch stinkt immer vom Kopf weg, nech?

looking at providers of free - as in beer - entertainment: GoG currently tries to avail you a copy of 'Trüberbrook'
Grogan Sep 29, 2023
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Quoting: PenglingHow many buzzwords does this guy use? Yikes!

Buzzwords are a pet peeve of mine and as long as the execs can keep coming up with presentations full of them, it won't be them losing their jobs.

Listen to how this flows, he nailed it :-)

I especially hate IT parroting full of buzzwords. I wish those twits realized how dumb they sound, it's a turn off for me.
M@GOid Sep 29, 2023
Since Sweeney is my sworn enemy, you can guess my deep insatisfaction to discover they had bought the Brazilian developer of Horizon Chase Turbo, Aquiris. A little earlier, they both dropped any plans for Linux and a Steam Launch of Horizon 2. Then, to put salt in the injury, they canceled the online leaderboards of the first game, citing some ridiculous "cost to maintain it", like a indie dev have any problem with that on Steam.

And now, Sweney is firing people left and right. To the ex-CEO of Aquiris, good job selling your company to Epic.
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