Fortnite Creator Epic Games to Lay Off 16% of Staff

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by Mercy Tukiya Mutanya · 3 min read
Fortnite Creator Epic Games to Lay Off 16% of Staff
Photo: Depositphotos

The layoffs at Epic Games are the latest in a slew of job cuts that have plagued the tech industry.

Fortnite creator Epic Games is cutting its staff by 16%. This is according to a notice from CEO Tim Sweeney to employees on Thursday. The company is also selling its music platform Bandcamp and making some changes to most of its SuperAwesome services.

The layoffs will affect 830 workers, two-thirds of whom do not belong to Epic’s core development teams in a bid to reduce costs while remaining on course with development and keeping the major lines of revenue open.

Sweeney stated that Epic has been funding Fortnite’s growth in the creator ecosystem but due to the nature of its revenue-sharing model with content creators, can not afford to keep all its staff. He revealed that the company has been trying to reduce spending on things like marketing and events, but “concluded that layoffs are the only way” to fix the company’s finances.

“For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn, investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators,” Sweeney wrote. “I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.”

The CEO added that among other changes, Epic is selling Bandcamp, the music platform it acquired in March last year, to the music licensing platform Songtradr.

“Bandcamp is joining Songtradr, a music marketplace company supporting artists. SuperAwesome’s advertising business will become an independent company under the SuperAwesome brand, led by their current CEO Kate O’Loughlin. Kids Web Services (KWS), the parent verification and consent management toolset, will remain part of Epic,” he wrote.

In a separate post, Songtradr said that it “will continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share.”

The CEO’s post suggests that the SuperAwesome staff, about 250 employees, are separate from the layoffs. As of writing time, this is yet to be confirmed.

The layoffs at Epic Games are the latest in a slew of job cuts that have plagued the tech industry as a whole. This trend has been attributed to slow growth and the higher interest rates being experienced since early 2022.

Major game developers and publishers like Riot Games, Ubisoft, and Activision Blizzard have laid off staff this year, while Romino Games and Volition boarded up last month, citing financial issues.

Another gaming giant, Sega has scrapped plans for several games for similar reasons while Sony studio Final Strike has reportedly cut down its staff and canceled a shooter game that had been under development for three years.

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