Company of Heroes developer Relic Entertainment has confirmed that 121 employees at the studio are being laid off. The studio cite “external factors” as a driving force behind the layoffs, and that the studio will focus more on “core franchises”.
In an announcement on Twitter, the studio writes:
Relic Entertainment and SEGA Europe want to share the difficult news that our studio has been impacted by layoffs, affecting 121 employees. This comes at a time when external factors are challenging our industry more than ever, and we made this decision to restructure our organisation to ensure maximum focus is placed on our core franchises.
Relic and SEGA remain fully committed to supporting and investing in our titles, including the recently released Company of Heroes 3. We’re confident that following this necessary restructuring, Relic will be in a position of strength to continue delivering outstanding experiences to players all over the world.
This decision was incredibly difficult. Relic is a studio that treasures our people and is proud of the culture we’ve grown, and right now our focus is on supporting departing employees in every way we can. We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to each of them for the part they’ve played in making Relic such a special studio.
It’s not clear if this is related to the recent release of Company of Heroes 3 – underperforming in sales or engagement metrics, for example – though it would make sense in terms of timing. Company of Heroes 3 launched for PC earlier this year, with a console version of the game set to land on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S next week on 30th May. The studio is coming to the end of the development cycle (not withstanding plans for updates and continued support), and that is typically a time that companies look to reorganise and try to scale back employee counts.
There’s also the possibility that third party contract work has dried up – the studio worked on Age of Empires IV, with a console release of that game due this year.
Regardless, it’s never nice to see layoffs affecting game studios, and that’s especially true for a storied studio such as Relic. We wish all those affected the best and hope they find new employment soon.