UK developer Bossa Studios – known for Surgeon Simulator – has confirmed it has laid off approximately one-third of its staff, with roughly 19 individuals impacted by the redundancies. Sources indicate the affected roles were primarily concentrated in QA, production, and non-UK locations.
According to a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz, the layoffs were attributed to a confluence of challenges faced by the studio, described as a “perfect storm” of circumstances. These included AAA games released after September, affecting the visibility and market share of AA and indie games like Bossa’s. The second reason was that the studio’s resources were further stretched by rising operational costs and delays in funding new projects.
In response, Bossa has refocused on its upcoming title, Lost Skies. Bossa claims this shift necessitates adjusting the studio’s size and composition, leading to the difficult decision to reduce staff.
The Co-founder of Bossa said that making games is hard, but what was harder was seeing people you admire being let go. He expressed the studio’s deep regret for the impact on departing employees and emphasized their commitment to providing transitional support. Bossa also encouraged industry peers to offer assistance, whether through sharing job openings or directly hiring affected individuals.
“While we are doing our utmost to support them, we would appreciate any help our industry peers can give in spreading the word about these great people – or even better, hiring them as part of your team. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better game development professional than one of these Bossians, whom we’ll vouch for without hesitation. We often say that making games is hard, but nothing is harder than seeing people you admire being let go. Ultimately, we tried our very best to avoid being in this position, and we’re truly sorry for where we have landed.”
Henrique Olifiers Co-Founder
The Bossa layoffs add to a concerning trend within the games industry. Estimates suggest over 10,000 industry professionals globally lost their jobs in 2023, and analysts predict further redundancies in 2024. This is an industry where jobs only last for a while, even when you want them to be permanent.
It also affects the journalism end; I was laid off only hours after being told I was doing everything right. I was also fired two hours after giving two weeks’ notice. Gaming is still an industry in its infancy, and until there is a solution that everyone can agree on, it will remain a Wild West in terms of work.