Sega grabs tech layoff baton and dumps couple hundred Euro staff

Gaming industry clings to 'Survive 2024'

Sega this week announced it was laying off 240 of its European workforce.

According to the video games veteran, it had 3,459 employees as of March of last year, meaning 240 layoffs takes away roughly seven percent of that top figure, in line with recent layoffs at other studios. The ax is set to fall at the Sega Europe office, and Sega's UK-based developers Sega Hardlight and Creative Assembly.

"Some of you may have read about this in the media or via social networks before seeing this email. If that is the case, I'm sorry," said Sega's European COO Jurgen Post in an email seen by Eurogamer.

"I want to sincerely apologize for the worry and understandable distress this news will cause, particularly for those directly affected. These decisions have been incredibly tough to make, and they follow meticulous consideration and deliberation with leadership teams across the business."

Sega Hardlight has mostly developed mobile games, but did get to work on big titles such as Sonic Forces, Yakuza 0, and Valkyria Chronicles 4. Creative Assembly is a crucial asset for Sega's PC gaming strategy, as it's the studio responsible for the Total War franchise, which is hugely popular in the genre of history-themed real-time strategy games.

Creative Assembly ended 2023 on a sour note and it seems its funk is continuing into the current year. In September, it cancelled Hyenas, a first-person shooter that was in the works for years, accompanied by layoffs. 2024 has clearly not been very kind to Total War games so far given the studio is facing yet more layoffs.

The wider tech sector, including the gaming industry, has seen tens of thousands of layoffs already in 2024. Over 20,000 were let go in January alone, including 1,900 Microsoft Gaming employees, after Redmond's recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

It's not just down to individual business decisions though, as Microsoft's rival Sony let go of 900 of its game studio staff. Electronic Arts has cut 670 of its employees as well, making for a very rough 2024 so far at game development companies.

The situation for the industry has apparently got so bad that the mood can be boiled down to the phrase "Survive 2024," according to analyst and former Activision director Mat Piscatella. ®

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