May 31, 2023 - Technology

Firaxis is latest video game studio hit by layoffs

Marvel's Midnight Suns. Screenshot: Firaxis / 2K Games

Firaxis Games, the video game studio behind Civilization, has laid off about 30 developers, a source familiar with the studio tells Axios.

Driving the news: The layoffs happened yesterday, as studios are cutting roles across the industry.

What they're saying: The cuts were due to a “sharpening of focus, enhancements of efficiencies, and an alignment of our talent against our highest priorities," a rep for Firaxis publisher 2K Games told Axios.

  • "The studio remains focused on developing critically acclaimed video games," they also said.

Between the lines: Firaxis' most recent game, December's tactical super-hero combat adventure Marvel's Midnight Suns, reviewed well but sold poorly.

  • The CEO of Firaxis' parent company Take Two Interactive, had pinned the weak sales on poor release timing.
  • In February, Take Two said it was initiating a $50 million "cost reduction program" that would include some layoffs. (Take Two purchased mobile game maker Zynga last year for nearly $13 billion.)
  • That same month, 2K announced that Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon and longtime Firaxis boss Steve Martin were exiting the company, with Heather Hazen promoted into the leadership spot. The studio revealed it was working on a new Civilization game.

The big picture: Despite some slowdown in the past year, the video game industry is projected to grow in 2023 as it approaches $200 billion in worldwide revenue.

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