Devolver Digital lays off 28 employees at Artificer

The team behind Showgunners is the latest to suffer layoffs.


The first day of February has brought more layoffs to the gaming industry, as Artificer, the studio behind Showgunners, has laid off 28 employees. This decision comes at the hand of parent company Devolver Digital.

Devolver Digital confirmed the layoffs in a statement to Game Developer following a report from Kotaku.

Showgunners gameplay, flame sprouting in front of a character.

Source: Artificer

Devolver Digital is known for publishing and distributing games from smaller teams on relatively small budgets. Of the 28 employees laid off, 18 of them have been terminated immediately, with the other 10 departing after seeing their current projects through to completion.

This news continues the unfortunate trend of layoffs across the video game industry this year. As always, Shacknews wishes the best to all impacted by the decision.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 1, 2024 1:00 PM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Devolver Digital lays off 28 employees at Artificer

      • reply
        February 1, 2024 10:31 AM

        Another casualty of the turn-based tactics genre, it would seem. Seems like there have been more than a few hefty budget games in that genre that were good, but just belly-flopped in sales:

        Midnight Suns
        Miasma Chronicles
        Lamplighters League

        It sucks because I love this genre, but clearly there just isn't that much market demand for it. Or maybe the other problem being that Firaxis's XCOM games set an unrealistically high bar to clear? After the slate above, I can't imagine there are many publishers feeling confident about the future of the genre :(

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          February 1, 2024 11:58 AM

          Gah, I really tried to enjoy Lamplighters League.

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          February 1, 2024 2:11 PM

          What’s interesting is that the studio behind Miasma Chronicles and the previous Mutant Year Zero is very small but are still chugging along. I think they have a clear grasp on how small their target audience is and exactly what they want in a turn based strategy game. They’re not trying to grow their base by trying to widen the appeal.

          I agree that XCOM2 sort of sucked their air out of the genre either its massive popularity, but a small, nimble studio that doesn’t try to overreach can keep going. I don’t think the genre is dead yet, just resting. ;)

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            February 1, 2024 2:30 PM

            Oh yeah, it's still a great genre with a ton of potential. Perhaps, unfortunately, this last batch of new games didn't really do enough to make their own mark in it. The little bit I saw of Lamplighters League, Showgunners, and Miasma Chronicles all looked pretty generic and redundant with XCOM, so I haven't been in any rush to buy them.

            Midnight Suns is an awesome game, but they marketed it poorly and turned a lot of players off by burying the good stuff behind layers of cutscenes and dialogue trees that only diehard comic fans will really appreciate. I'm about 60 hours into it and have written a lot about it here.

            For my money, Warhammer 40K Mechanicus was one of the best recent(ish) games in the genre. It had some fantastic original ideas for the gameplay that really made it feel distinct from XCOM, and the 40K license was used to very nice effect.

            I also loved Gears Tactics. Hope they get a chance to do a sequel someday, but I think it was another sales flop. Making a hit in that genre is a tough nut to crack.

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              February 1, 2024 7:43 PM

              I loooove XCOM and I really think The Bearded Ladies games (Miasma Chronicles) are superior in the sense that every mission is 100% hand crafted and all the combat situations, level design and skill trees/mechanics understand the best of the genre and try to go one better with unique and humorous elements.
              They’re the opposite of generic and really put effort into great characters with entertaining camaraderie.

              Miasma Chronicles was one of the few games I played last year and man, is it underrated. A great game!

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                February 1, 2024 8:03 PM

                Alright, I'll have to check it out! I did really enjoy Mutant Year Zero.

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        February 1, 2024 11:17 AM

        Here’s a clearer article:

        The good news is Devolver’s co-founder is taking over from this guy, who only was brought in to bring the company public (and has perhaps left now that their stock has tanked over a less than stellar earnings report). Harry Miller preciously was Devolver CEO and goes way back, with leadership roles at Ritual, GOD Games and the erstwhile GameCock (remember that? I do. It was silly).

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          February 1, 2024 3:18 PM

          Man, GOD Games is way back, I went to their E3 “stand” in 2000 - it was just some trailers in a car park and named The Promised Lot hahahaha.

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            February 1, 2024 7:45 PM

            I was there too!! Saw Max Payne demoed in one of them by our beloved Remedy superstars. Later there were pole dancers and beaucoup alcohol.

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              February 2, 2024 1:00 AM

              Awesome! Heh, so, funny story on that note too - I was over from the U.K. and aged 20. So I was at E3 in the wild party heyday… and I couldn’t go to any because America has a stupid legal drinking age. :(

              Anyway, Max Payne and Rune looked cool AF, KISS Psycho Circus I was bewildered by since I never got into the band, haha.

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        February 1, 2024 12:13 PM

        Damn. This sucks.

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