December 4, 2023

Neverwinter developer Cryptic Studios has been hit by a round of layoffs, making it the latest in a line of companies to suffer this fate.

Employees affected by the layoffs include lead environment artist Scot Boyd, narrative director Winter Mullenix, and art department director Bill Yeatts, all of whom posted about the layoffs on LinkedIn.

Cryptic Studios is best known for MMORPG Neverwinter.

The layoffs were subsequently confirmed to by a Cryptic spokesperson, who confirmed “personnel changes, including separating from some team members”.

The spokesperson described this decision as “difficult” and said that Cryptic will provide “job assistance and support” in order to help affected employees with this “transition”.

According to the spokesperson, the “organizational change” that has resulted in these layoffs will also see Cryptic moving to operate under DECA Games, a fellow Embracer Group subsidiary.

A giant humanoid demon fighting players in Cryptic Studios' Neverwinter
Cryptic Studios will continue to support Neverwinter.

The Cryptic spokesperson who gave a statement to also says that Cryptic’s “cornerstone free-to-play games and the communities behind them” will continue to be supported.

This means that Dungeons and Dragons MMO Neverwinter isn’t likely to be shut down anytime soon as a result of these layoffs.

Cryptic’s situation is sadly becoming more and more common in the gaming industry.

In recent months, other companies impacted by layoffs include Destiny 2 developer Bungie, Dreams studio Media Molecule, and Jurassic World Evolution creator Frontier, among several others.

Perhaps the most relevant situation to look at in Cryptic’s instance, however, is that of parent company Embracer, which announced a “comprehensive restructuring” back in June after a “groundbreaking strategic partnership” fell through.

That restructuring has led to project cancellations and staff layoffs; Saints Row developer Volition was shut down in August, and further layoffs and studio closures are expected in the future as well.

It’s not yet clear exactly how these layoffs will affect Cryptic Studios or its future projects. Stay tuned for more information on this and all other things relating to the gaming industry.

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