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Embracer Group continues cuts with Beamdog shedding 26 people

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Is no studio safe from cuts? Embracer Group continues trying to reduce costs and now the latest we've seen has affected Beamdog. This news was confirmed via LinkedIn with multiple staffers (#1, #2, #3) noting they had been laid off and multiple sources noting that a total of 26 people were given the boot.

For those unfamiliar with Beamdog they worked on the likes of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, Axis & Allies 1942 Online and they just recently released MythForce.

This is all part of the immense cost-cutting that Embracer Group are doing after swallowing up absolutely loads of publishers and developers and then having a big funding deal fail to go through. Recent other reports include a possible sell-off of Gearbox and they also completely shut down Volition.

What studio will be in the firing line next?

Once again, this massive consolidation in the gaming industry causing problems. Bigger companies keep acquiring, and then eventually getting rid of them when they're not hitting some ridiculous goals. Hopefully all of this will cause more companies to think "do we really want to do this?".

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Misc
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16 comments
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Raaben Sep 19, 2023
Oh no, been a big fan of the work they've been doing.
whizse Sep 19, 2023
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Poor Embracer Group. Maybe Microsoft or EA could step in and save the day?
rcrit Sep 19, 2023
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Companies asking "do we really want to do this?" when it comes to being bought? Absolutely yes. Those in charge walk away with a ton of money and the rest, well, that's up to them. I think even well-meaning owners fall into this trap. When they are no longer in charge, they are no longer in charge and can't protect their former staff.
SethM Sep 19, 2023
Embrace, extend, extinguish
Purple Library Guy Sep 19, 2023
Looking at their games, clearly Beamdog should have gotten themselves purchased by "Enhancer Group" instead--then they would have been valued.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 19 September 2023 at 4:20 pm UTC
Linux_Rocks Sep 19, 2023
An Embracer Group-Atari merger might work. Just please not Microsoft buying them. *sighs*
Kimyrielle Sep 19, 2023
The number of game devs I talked to who founded studios with the primary goal to eventually get bought out by a bigger fish is fairly mind-numbing. They want to publish one good game, get noticed, get bought, and walk away with a fat wad of cash. So, yeah, they really want to do this.

It's no wonder that this is how the story often ends.

Shame. Beamdog was a great studio. At least before they got bought by these people. MythForce is quite a misfit in their portfolio. Like Anthem was for Bioware. Maybe studios should stick to what they're good at.
Purple Library Guy Sep 19, 2023
Quoting: KimyrielleThe number of game devs I talked to who founded studios with the primary goal to eventually get bought out by a bigger fish is fairly mind-numbing. They want to publish one good game, get noticed, get bought, and walk away with a fat wad of cash. So, yeah, they really want to do this.

It's no wonder that this is how the story often ends.

Shame. Beamdog was a great studio. At least before they got bought by these people. MythForce is quite a misfit in their portfolio. Like Anthem was for Bioware. Maybe studios should stick to what they're good at.
Not just a game studio thing; it seems to be endemic throughout tech. And for that matter, I know a guy who has a business making eco-friendly bamboo toilet paper who has been hoping for years that a big boy will buy it up.
To some extent, at least in tech, I think it's making a virtue of necessity--the big monopolists will not let you grow a company to become a serious competitor, so might as well try to get the buyout quickly so you end up with a decent return on your time investment . . .
hell0 Sep 19, 2023
Whilst consolidation is concerning from a freedom and diversity standpoint, keep in mind that financially it is a lot more nuanced.

Independent studios with reasonably successful games also quit.

It is not unlikely Volition would have closed shop shortly after the disaster that was the Saints Row reboot, if not for the backing of Embracer.

In the same vein, I'd wager that after the resounding Darktide's launch, Fatshark can only afford to keep their 180-ish employees thanks in part to Tencent's money.
F.Ultra Sep 19, 2023
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Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: KimyrielleThe number of game devs I talked to who founded studios with the primary goal to eventually get bought out by a bigger fish is fairly mind-numbing. They want to publish one good game, get noticed, get bought, and walk away with a fat wad of cash. So, yeah, they really want to do this.

It's no wonder that this is how the story often ends.

Shame. Beamdog was a great studio. At least before they got bought by these people. MythForce is quite a misfit in their portfolio. Like Anthem was for Bioware. Maybe studios should stick to what they're good at.
Not just a game studio thing; it seems to be endemic throughout tech. And for that matter, I know a guy who has a business making eco-friendly bamboo toilet paper who has been hoping for years that a big boy will buy it up.
To some extent, at least in tech, I think it's making a virtue of necessity--the big monopolists will not let you grow a company to become a serious competitor, so might as well try to get the buyout quickly so you end up with a decent return on your time investment . . .

This really spiralled out of control during the early 2000:s when both Google and Microsoft where wearing their big spending pants so a lot of startups had the single goal of being acquired by either for billions.

I was in 2007 searching for investors to massively increase the capacity of a new computer cloud that I and a friend (I as the developer and he as the initial investor) had started (basically a competitor to AWS EC2 but with more features and performance at the time), basically every single such meeting ended with them trying to convince us to instead shift focus to something that Google and Microsoft would be interested in buying up in a short while (this was before Google and Microsoft where interested in cloud computing, so so much for those investors potential to see the future...).
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