Narrative studio Deck Nine Games lays off 20% of its staff

As if the gaming industry wasn’t going through enough already, one of the studios behind the beloved Life Is Strange series, Deck Nine Games, issued today’s latest round of layoffs. The studio’s announcement was issued on the heels of others today, like PlayStation, and yesterday with developer Supermassive.

According to an announcement from Deck Nine Games’ official Twitter, 20 percent of their staff were let go due to the “worsening market conditions.” This isn’t the first time the studio has gone through something like this, either. In 2023, Deck Nine laid off 30 employees, with others still at the company reporting some team leads at the studio offered up their own jobs to save other staff.

Deck Nine Games’ Game Director, Stephan Frost, explained on Twitter that “leadership took paycuts” in an effort to avoid as many layoffs as possible. But, despite the team’s strong foundation, it wasn’t enough to reduce it entirely.

The impacted team members were responsible for the follow-up titles to Life Is Strange, like Before the Storm and True Colors, and the latest addition of TellTale’s The Expanse . More recently, Deck Nine revisited the original game, branching off with a remastered collection recapping the heart-wrenching tales that first began with Max and Chloe. Unfortunately, the studio’s history of producing emotional, personal journies shared with millions alongside the legacy of LIS creators, Dontnod, did not protect workers in a time of rampant, industry-wide layoffs.

Deck Nine had a layoff today. Leadership took paycuts to keep the number down as much as possible. This is the strongest team D9 has ever been and it absolutely sucks that the industry is in the state that it is presently.

— Frost (@StephanFrost) February 27, 2024 Sony has also announced another surge of layoffs today, cutting over 900 employees across PlayStation. Combined with this and Deck Nine Games’ recent events, 2024 is definitely off to a bad start, including the cutbacks made with Activision Blizzard and Xbox.

It isn’t quite clear what the future holds for Deck Nine Games and the people remaining at companies impacted, but hopefully, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Kristina Ebanez

Staff Writer – Kristina has been a video game lover ever since she saw Solid Snake get under that cardboard box in Metal Gear Solid. She continues to show off her love for gaming and has been writing about it for more than two years. Aside from the Metal Gear Solid series, she enjoys playing The Sims, Call of Duty, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Horizon Forbidden West, Minecraft, and many more.

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