Wizards of the Coast is still “committed to using digital games,” a spokesman said in a statement to Bloomberg, adding that the company has “made some changes to our long-term portfolio to focus on games which are strategically aligned with developing our existing brands and those which show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways.”
But the reorganization will land hard for several independent studios such as Boston-based Otherside Entertainment and Bellevue, Washington-based Hidden Path Entertainment, both of which were working on games for Wizards of the Coast.
The company also cancelled an internal project code-named Jabberwocky and two other external games that were early in development.
Fewer than 15 people at Wizards of the Coast will lose their jobs due to the shift and will be given a chance to apply to new roles within the company, the spokesman said.
Two of the biggest outlets in games media are the latest to face layoffs. A number of editorial staff across both Giant Bomb and GameSpot revealed they’d been let go on Thursday, just months after the sites were purchased by the Fandom wiki network.
While it’s not clear what the extent of the cuts are at the moment, close to half a dozen editors, video producers, and on-air talent shared tweets confirming they were part of the layoffs. Previously owned by Viacom CBS, Giant Bomb and GameSpot were both sold to Red Ventures in 2020, which then turned around and sold them again to Fandom last October.
By no means do I assume that those companies doing layoffs are in the red. Red Ventures previously, and now Fandom, are run by vulturous private equity funds which often do extremely stupid shit which wreck pretty successful media companies
The Washington Post imposed more layoffs on Tuesday just a week after owner Jeff Bezos visited its Washington D.C. office. Among the ritual sacrifices will be Launcher, the newspaper’s burgeoning gaming section, which routinely broke important news stories, landed big interviews, and asked the tough questions.
Launcher had only just turned three years old last fall and was one of the few attempts by a mainstream media outlet to tackle the unwieldy world of video games in a way that wasn’t condescending or misinformed. Kotaku understands that some of its team will be reassigned to other parts of The Washington Post while the others will be laid off. Due to their union contracts, those affected will still remain employed until March 31.