Unity is cutting a quarter of its workforce
It will layoff 1,800 people, on top of the more than 1,100 laid off over the past two years.
Gaming software developer Unity plans to lay off 1,800 employees or about a quarter of its global workforce, according to a securities filing first spotted by The Wall Street Journal. The company said it made the move “as it restructures and refocuses on its core business” in an aim to get back to profitability. The cuts follow major turbulence in the company after it angered developers by introducing and then partially walking back a controversial runtime fee for its game engine.
The layoffs add to the more than 1,100 jobs it has eliminated since 2021. Unity fired 265 people in November as part of what it called a company “reset,” all of whom were employed as part of its 2021 Weta Digital acquisition. The company also closed down 14 offices around the world. In May of 2023, it announced it would let go around 600 employees, following layoffs of over 500 people in 2022.
Last September, Unity rolled out some significant concessions to its developer pricing model after widespread backlash over its plan to charge developers for game installations. CEO John Riccitiello, who took much of the brunt of the criticism, stepped down shortly afterwards and was replaced by former IBM president James Whitehurst, who continues to serve as interim President and CEO.
After reporting record profits for 2022, the company has missed revenue forecasts over the last three quarters. In a shareholder letter, the company said it aims to emerge from restructuring as a “leaner, more agile and faster growing company.” Unity’s game engine is used in titles like Cuphead, GTFO and Kerbel Space Program.
With game sales flat over the past year, Unity isn’t the only company in that industry to see layoffs. As we detailed in our year-end video game roundup, The Embracer Group, which owns studios like Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Montreal and Gearbox Software, laid off more than 900 people. Epic Games fired around 830 people, Sony cut 100 jobs at Bungie, CD Projekt RED and Sega laid off 100 employees each and Electronic Arts reduced 6 percent of its workforce, or around 1,130 employees.