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Unity cutting 25% of staff (about 1,800 people) as part of restructuring

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Ouch. We're only just into week 2 of 2024 and Unity Software are cutting away a huge amount of their staff, as things aren't looking great for the Unity game engine.

As reported by Reuters who picked up the filing, Unity announced "it plans to reduce approximately 1,800 employee roles, or approximately 25% of its current workforce, as it restructures and refocuses on its core business, and to position itself for long-term and profitable growth".

According to the interim CEO Jim Whitehurst: "We are reducing the number of things we are doing in order to focus on our core business and drive our long-term success and profitability".

Plenty of this is still from the ongoing fallout of the absolute mess that was runtime fee, that caused John Riccitiello to leave as CEO


Unity is used by some of the most popular games around and according to SteamDB over 40,000 games on Steam use Unity. This includes hits like Vampire Survivors, Lethal Company, Hollow Knight, Valheim, Rust, Cities: Skylines, RimWorld and the list just goes on and on to name only a semi-recent popular few that you likely know of.

Hopefully Unity will stabilise soon, because I can't imagine what the atmosphere is like to work there right now, imagine having all this like a black cloud over your head? With a probability of more to come as the restructuring continues. Game developers need things to calm down too, since many thousands rely on it for upcoming and existing games still being supported.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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11 comments
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dpanter Jan 9
We are reducing the number of things we are doing in order to focus on our core business and drive our long-term success and profitability a soulless corporation playing imaginary 4D chess with peoples lives for profit. Buy More Product Now!
jordicoma Jan 9
Hope when it goes down, it ends as an open source engine.
Zlopez Jan 9
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I'm surprised to see Jim Whitehurst as Interim CEO for Unity. I thought that he currently has some top management function in IBM after being CEO of Red Hat.
TheSHEEEP Jan 9
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I don't have an objection to companies downsizing for cost reasons.
Just makes business sense in some situations.

What makes this so crazy is that they didn't lose profitability due to "the market changing" or inflation or anything.
Their leadership made absolutely insane decisions that cost them dearly, but the ones to pay the consequences of that are the normal staff, while the leadership remains absurdly overpaid.

That's the part that's just really grinding my gears.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 9 January 2024 at 12:47 pm UTC
rcrit Jan 9
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Quoting: ZlopezI'm surprised to see Jim Whitehurst as Interim CEO for Unity. I thought that he currently has some top management function in IBM after being CEO of Red Hat.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/why-whitehurst-is-stepping-away-from-ibm/
grigi Jan 9
Quoting: TheSHEEEPI don't have an objection to companies downsizing for cost reasons.
Just makes business sense in some situations.

What makes this so crazy is that they didn't lose profitability due to "the market changing" or inflation or anything.
Their leadership made absolutely insane decisions that cost them dearly, but the ones to pay the consequences of that are the normal staff, while the leadership remains absurdly overpaid.

That's the part that's just really grinding my gears.

I lived through a similar thing. New CEO, new ideas. We tell him some of those ideas are built on bad foundations. He systematically replaces the board until anyone that knows the market is out-shouted by the yes-men.

What happened? The company shed over 10000 jobs in 3 years until it filed for bankruptcy.

And all that happened is that all the board members were paid off, but literally every other employee got pink checks and had to re-apply for their jobs at half the salary.

I was lucky in that I decided to leave about a year before the big implosion. It was a hellish work environment being out shouted and lied to by sociopathic yes men all the time. Sorry, I think I struck my own nerves there
Brokatt Jan 9
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Quoting: TheSHEEEPI don't have an objection to companies downsizing for cost reasons.
Just makes business sense in some situations.

What makes this so crazy is that they didn't lose profitability due to "the market changing" or inflation or anything.
Their leadership made absolutely insane decisions that cost them dearly, but the ones to pay the consequences of that are the normal staff, while the leadership remains absurdly overpaid.

That's the part that's just really grinding my gears.

I fully agree with you. Just to illustrate how much of a disaster in leadership this is. Unity went from 4000 employees in 2020 to 7700 in 2022. That's almost doubling in size in two years. Now in an even shorter time span they have cut one third of the work force. They are essential back to a headcount they had in 2021. What a roller coaster in all the wrong possible ways.

Quoting: ZlopezI'm surprised to see Jim Whitehurst as Interim CEO for Unity. I thought that he currently has some top management function in IBM after being CEO of Red Hat.

Interesting choice. Hopefully he can bring some of that Open Source and Open Organization thinking to Unity. Maybe he can transform Unity into the game engine equivalent to Red Hat.


Last edited by Brokatt on 9 January 2024 at 2:40 pm UTC
Eike Jan 9
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Quoting: BrokattJust to illustrate how much of a disaster in leadership this is. Unity went from 4000 employees in 2020 to 7700 in 2022. That's almost doubling in size in two years.

That does sound though like the growth might have been unreasonable in the first place.
Cloversheen Jan 10
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: BrokattJust to illustrate how much of a disaster in leadership this is. Unity went from 4000 employees in 2020 to 7700 in 2022. That's almost doubling in size in two years.

That does sound though like the growth might have been unreasonable in the first place.

And do note that in the statement they don't talk about "long-term sustainability". It's "long-term profitable growth"...

*imagine a face being palmed pretty hard* *also a desk might be involved*
Koopacabras Jan 11
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: BrokattJust to illustrate how much of a disaster in leadership this is. Unity went from 4000 employees in 2020 to 7700 in 2022. That's almost doubling in size in two years.

That does sound though like the growth might have been unreasonable in the first place.
IMHO most of this companies embraced the Silicon Valley ideology of going exponential on growth... with interest rates increasing after covid to counter inflation, there was no longer "sweet&easy money" at disposal, suddenly business had to do an extra mile to compensate for the cost of the financial services, CEOs had a rough landing with reality.
Some of these companies are not really profitable, look at Epic for example, they take a bet on future profits, and leverage growth with cheap loans/funding. This has come to an end.


Last edited by Koopacabras on 11 January 2024 at 7:31 am UTC
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