Last week we broke the disturbing news that fearless And Fae farm Studio Phoenix Labs has been hit with significant and abrupt layoffs, our sources tell us.
The news first surfaced on Twitter as Director of Corporate Communications Justin Kranzel announced that he was fired. LinkedIn posts show that the layoffs also included a senior global community lead, a video lead, and a video editor. Two described the layoff as a “team reorganization,” while another described it as a “corporate reorganization.” Ash Thukral, Head of NA Publishing & Marketing at Phoenix Labs, who appears unaffected, appears to have confirmed the layoffs in a reply to Kranzl.
The bad news: I was released this morning
The good news: I was less unemployed than Tucker Carlson
— Justin🐀 (@Kranzl) April 25, 2023
Readers will recall that a year ago Phoenix Labs boasted it was working on nearly 10 new games “from early research and development to full production” and “everything from science fiction to fantasy, strategy to action, casual to… Core – and everything in between.” One of those games was Fae farma leisurely co-op farming sim title announced last fall for a Spring 2023 launch.
However, in February of this year, Phoenix Labs triumphantly announced that it had secured investments to divest itself of Singapore-based Garena, which it had owned since 2020. Phoenix Labs has not disclosed the investors and new owners, nor has it disclosed the purchase price. And then, just two weeks ago, Phoenix Labs announced this Fae farm was postponed to “end of 2023”. We also understand that some of the unannounced titles have also been cancelled.
Phoenix Labs has not issued an official statement on the layoffs, so we reached out to the company directly last week and received no response, which unfortunately often happens when you abruptly resign your Director of Corporate Communications and the communication chains are broken at the scenes. In fact, the company’s media email was dead (never a good sign), and we received no response from the company’s core email.
Specifically, we asked how many workers were affected, how workers were compensated, what was the immediate cause of the layoffs, whether fearless And Fae farm development were impaired, whether Fae Farms delay was due to this move, whether any of the other dozen games PL was said to be working on were affected, whether PL still thought those projects were smart, whether the layoffs were a result of the company’s investor-backed takeover earlier this year, who exactly the investors were and who currently owns the company. The company did not respond to any of our questions.
Our condolences go out to the workers affected by the layoffs.