Jurassic World Alive, Cookie Jam Developer Sees Massive Layoffs
Jurassic World lives and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery Publisher Jam City on Thursday laid off 17% of employees at the company and its subsidiary Ludia. Jam City that created match 3 game cookie jam in 2014 and has locations in the United States and Canada, acquired Ludia in 2021, based in Montreal, known for developing original and branded games, and employs approximately 1,400 people in total.
About 200 workers were laid off Thursday between Jam City and Ludia. OnlineSpiel spoke to 10 affected Ludia employees and two current employees. Several former Ludia employees told Polygon that they were either on furlough or vacation during the layoff, first found out about it from other colleagues and then realizing they had lost access to associated accounts.
Ludia workers who were Not According to a recording of the call obtained by Polygon, the fired employee was first notified of the layoff through a large meeting at which employees were told not to tell others. Later, HR began pulling affected individuals into separate meetings. At least one employee told Polygon that they lost access to their various work accounts while still waiting for the scheduled meeting time. Other confused employees began questioning the layoffs in public Slack rooms.
The majority of workers said they were surprised by the layoffs, noting they had previously been promised it wouldn’t happen – that the Jam City acquisition would let Ludia do more of what it already does. “People are really upset,” a current employee told Polygon. “Ludia has treated us very well over the years. They have done a lot to take care of us, but since the takeover this attitude seems to be changing. We tried to make our voices heard, but generally we seemed to be ignored. We feel speechless.”
Jam City bought Ludia in September 2021 for $165 million after securing $350 million in funding from South Korean games company Netmarble. Wonder Realm of Champions Developer Kabam and others according to VentureBeat. Jam City has issued a number of minor rounds of layoffs between then and now, four former employees told Polygon. However, Thursday’s layoff is by far the biggest of them all.
A Jam City spokesperson told Polygon that the decision was made “in light of the challenging global economy and its impact on the gaming industry.” The speaker continued:
Given the challenging global economy and its impact on the gaming industry, Jam City has made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our team by approximately 17 percent. In recent years we have made a number of strategic acquisitions and this move represents a proper sizing of our workforce to handle the layoffs associated with these transactions. While Jam City remains profitable, we believe this is a necessary step in the current operating environment to improve our financial flexibility and increase operational efficiencies and better position Jam City for long-term growth. This also follows a broader reorganization we recently completed to realign our development teams under genre divisions that focus on subject matter expertise to optimize performance. We thank those who are leaving for their many contributions and offer severance packages and benefits to help with the transition.
Workers received severance packages that increased with time worked at the company, they said.
Jam City has publicly detailed their next game to be called Master Ascension and will be built on the blockchain in a whitepaper in May. Master Ascension Characters can currently be purchased as NFTs on OpenSea; 7,622 are available at the time of writing. Some of the laid-off workers speculated to Polygon that Jam City’s all-in approach to blockchain gaming may have influenced Thursday’s layoffs. Apart from Master AscensionJam City has worked on a number of licensed and original games such as: Ghosts & Gems, Disney emoticons lightningand Family Guy: Another crazy mobile game.
Founded in 2007, Ludia started developing licensed games such as The price is correct and other game show brands and switched to other games like The Bachelor: The Video Game and Jurassic World lives.
“The problem that comes with a lot of game development is that we have so much secrecy,” said one employee. “It’s difficult for these things to get out without feeling like they’re in danger. If you’re able to talk about these types of layoffs, let people know they’re happening. Otherwise it just goes under the radar. Game development just goes on as usual. But in a city like Montreal, where there are so many studios, it can be devastating.”
https://www.polygon.com/23292595/jam-city-ludia-jurassic-world-alive-montreal-layoffs Jurassic World Alive, Cookie Jam Developer Sees Massive Layoffs