Update: Sekai Project has released an official statement on the layoffs, a portion of which we’ll include here:
Today, as many of you may have heard, we have had to make a very difficult decision in laying off many of our employees, co-workers, and friends from Sekai Project. The decision was difficult and we are sure it will impact many of them in the days to come and we wish them the best in their future endeavors.
Regarding the Status and Future of Sekai Project
Most of the staff that was let go over the course of the year was in marketing, whereas translation, programming, editing and QC are still diligently working on current and future projects. In the coming days, the company will be going through a restructure so we can be more nimble, focused, proactive and more like the company we were when we first started.
Regarding the Status of Current Projects
Many of you are likely concerned about the status of our projects, including our crowdfunding campaigns but we want to reassure you that they will continue although there may be more delays coming as we try to streamline our processes.
The statement goes on to detail the specifics of each of Sekai Project’s currently active projects; please click through to read it for all of the details. A representative from the company responded to our initial inquiries and stated that they have no further comment other than the contents of the above-linked statement.
Our original story continues below.
Visual novel publisher Sekai Project appears to be laying off staff according to a thread on ResetEra.
Sekai Project is a company that largely focuses on localization of foreign visual novels, most of which are coming out of Japan. Their titles include games like The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude (Our Review), Walkerman (Our Review), and the recently-released game Shining Song Starnova. Their works also include some cult classics of the genre like CLANNAD and NEKOPARA. Sekai Project was one of many companies in the adult gaming space that were affected by a wave of removal e-mails sent out by Steam in mid-May of this year, a position that the digital games distributor later reversed.
Unfortunately, a couple of tweets by now previous employees indicate that the company has laid off a few people and quite possibly an entire office:
Hey nyall I'm no longer employed by @sekaiproject. Been a good three years
— ?Josh? @ AWA (@JkaplanAW) August 13, 2018
Soooooooo the entire office got laid off today…
— Frances Delgado (@DancingQueen_DQ) August 13, 2018
An update on one of their active Kickstarter projects has a statement from Sekai Project which appears to confirm the situation for the company:
As some of you may or may not already know, we at Sekai Project had to make the difficult and unfortunate decision to layoff some of our staff at the company. Due to the necessity of restructuring the company to better take on the changes in the market, these layoffs were an unfortunate consequence. This was not a decision that came easily and we sincerely thank them for their commitment and time with us.
Sekai Project has a number of things still in the works including at least one game Kickstarter and localization of the Gate manga. The manga’s localization was recently delayed due to unsatisfactory printing.
We’ve reached out to Sekai Project and some of the affected developers; we’ll update this article as we receive new information.
What do you think of Sekai Project laying off staff? How confident are you in the company being able to deliver on its upcoming products? Let us know in the comments below!