In June, Embracer Group announced a restructuring that would eventually include layoffs, game cancelations, and either selling or shutdown of a number of its development studios. As part of an ongoing restructuring, layoffs have recently occurred at independent RPG developer Beamdog.
According to Beamdog staff posting on LinkedIn, 26 employees were let go from the Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Mythforce developer studio on Friday. Those affected included producers, artists, QA testers, and other support roles.
For those unfamiliar with Beamdog, it was founded in 2009 by a group of former BioWare employees. The company is best known for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and MythForce.
The news comes less than one year after Aspyr Media, a Swedish game conglomerate Embracer Group subsidiary, acquired Beamdog. As you may know, Embracer has pursued an aggressive acquisition strategy in recent years, amassing over 230 game companies under its umbrella.
However, in June, Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors announced the company would shift focus from “heavy investment” to cost-cutting measures like studio closures and layoffs. The restructuring will occur in several phases, ending sometime in March 2024.
The casualties of Embracer’s restructuring so far include the closure of Volition and Campfire Cabal studios. The closure of Volition, in particular, sent shockwaves through the gaming industry in late August. The studio was behind such well-known franchises as Saints Row and Red Faction.
Layoffs have also hit other subsidiaries like Borderlands maker Gearbox Publishing and Rainbow Studios. A new report even suggests Embracer may sell off Gearbox Entertainment. The parent company is said to be working with Goldman Sachs and Aream & Co. to move the process forward.
The layoffs come as a blow to Beamdog, as the team has been working to expand classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate. It remains to be seen how the company will restructure its positions.