Another entity in the video game industry has quietly laid off a portion of its workforce. GOG, the digital gaming storefront owned by the studio behind The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077, laid off around a dozen employees last week. Official reasoning is unknown, but a source suggests the storefront has been experiencing financial troubles for a while.
“Letting people go is never easy,” a GOG representative told Kotaku. “We have been rearranging certain teams since October 2018, effecting in closing around a dozen of positions last week. At the same time, since the process started we have welcomed nearly twice as many new team members, and currently hold 20 open positions.”
The news comes at a time where layoffs are happening all over the gaming industry and outside of it as well. Activision Blizzard laid off around 800 people while reporting record profits and EA's Australian studio FireMonkeys is in the process of cutting staff and restructuring. We're not fully aware how GOG and CD Projekt Red's situation relates to other layoffs, but an anonymous source that was one of the employees laid off painted a pretty grim picture of financials within GOG as of late:
“We were told it’s a financial decision. GOG’s revenue couldn’t keep up with growth, the fact that we’re dangerously close to being in the red has come up in the past few months, and the market’s move towards higher [developer] revenue shares has, or will, affect the bottom line as well. I mean, it’s just an odd situation, like things got really desperate really fast. I know that February was a really bad month, but January on the other hand was excellent. We were in the middle of a general restructuring, moving some teams around, not unprecedented. But layoffs that big have never happened before.”
The Epic Games store is the most recent new addition to the digital gaming marketplace front and it will be an uphill battle to maintain relevance in the minds of consumers. Razer recently shut down its digital games store and, depending on how truly grim the GOG situation is, another face may be added to the marketplace graveyard if restructures don't do the trick. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.