Epic Games, the multi-billion company that owns Fortnite and the Unreal engine, has fired 16% of its workforce, with Mediatonic being hit the most. Mediatonic is the developer of Fall Guys, a ridiculously popular multiplayer platformer that still gets updates and crossovers to this day, making the decision more baffling.
Bloomberg reports that Epic Games is laying off 870 employees, most of whom are part of Mediatonic. Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic, told employees that they had been ‘spending more money than earning it.’ Some of the blame has gone to the Fortnite Creator program, which lets players build and sell their own content within the game, making low profits.
“For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn,” Sweeney told employees. “I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see this was unrealistic.”
Gaming journalist Jason Schreier confirmed that Mediatonic was hit hard but won’t be shut down. Rumours spread of the company being closed due to these layoffs but that has since been debunked by Shreier.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of the former Epic Games employees have been vocal about their firings. Most of the anger comes from the fact that it was a strategy from the company that failed and it’s the developers who did nothing wrong who have to pay for it.
Mediatonic was purchased by Epic in 2021, quickly making Fall Guys an Epic Store exclusive for PC players and going free-to-play. This also resulted in Fall Guys being pulled from Steam, disappointing many players who had spent time on that version. Luckily, progress could be transferred to the Epic Store version.
Epic has lost some of its luster, as the company hasn’t been able to secure exclusives from companies like Square Enix recently. Granted, the company is still home to Fortnite, the most popular game out right now, so they won’t be hurting for money. That makes these extensive layoffs even more questionable.