Following a period of "disappointing financial performance" and "challenging industry conditions", Frontier Interactive plans sizeable layoffs. The developers are best known for Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster/Zoo, among others.
In an organisational review and trading update released October 17, the company explains that they are refining their strategy to "refocus on [their] core strengths" to help the company increase its profits and "create a sustainable foundation for the future."
Their ultimate goal is stated to be "a reduction in annual operating costs of up to 20%". There's no figure given on the number of jobs being made redundant as the decision is subject to consultation, but speculation has ranged from 100 to 160. The comes as Frontier has been hiring fairly regularly in recent months, likely maintaining the unsustainable hiring practices that many studios adopted during COVID-19 pandemic.
The document goes on to mention a "recruitment freeze [and] spending cuts", despite later mentioning that the company's existing games continue to perform within expectations. An optimistic view is cast towards the launch of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, set to release on November 17 just in time for the holiday period.
We've seen similar news of layoffs from several studios and industry giants lately; Epic Games has been the most heavy-handed with 900 people fired, but staff from Telltale had deja vu this year when several were fired after the studio came back from the brink.
If the layoffs do go ahead and over 100 people lose their jobs, we can only hope those affected land on their feet and that morale can stay strong. With any luck, these will be the last of the redundancies, but if more studios join this depressing trend, we'll report on the latest.