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Super Lucky's Tale dev Playful Studios cites 'transition' in major layoff

The studio behind Super Lucky's Tale has let go of a 'significant' portion of its staff, citing a transition in the studio's approach to development.


Back in 2017 when we got our first look at Super Lucky’s Tale at Xbox’s E3 presentation, it captured a lot of hearts with its novel take on platforming adventure and put Playful Studios on the scene. Unfortunately, not all is playful in 2020. The Dallas-based studio has announced a transitional period which has included a large layoff of staff as it seeks to reorganize its development cycle.

Playful Studios Founders Paul Bettner and Katy Drake Bettner posted the unfortunate news on January 22, 2020 via a special message on the Playful Studios website. In the message, the Bettners wrote that it was “continued changes in the gaming market place” that pushed the studio to reorganize its dynamic

“The studio will be pivoting to a more streamlined production model based on distributed game development and dynamic, project-based teams,” the Bettners explained. As part of this transition in our operating model, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to significantly reduce our full-time staff, effective today.”

It’s unfortunate to say the least. Playful seemed to be doing well for a while, with Super Lucky’s Tale coming into our collective attention in 2017 at Xbox’s E3 before becoming part of the Xbox Game Pass in 2018. Then we saw the expanded version, New Super Lucky’s Tale, come to the Nintendo Switch, bringing its colorful world with it in 2019. There were also other Playful Corp games in development, such as Star Child, but it seems that none of this was able to keep the studio from its recent decision.

“We will be working closely with each person affected by this transition to help them move forward,” the Bettner’s conclude in their message.

Here’s hoping those who have found themselves out of business won’t be that way for long. Shacknews offers condolences to those affected by the Playful Studios layoffs.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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