The Kindly Beast, studio behind the cult indie hit Bendy and the Ink Machine, has apparently laid off up to approximately half to most of their staff – 48 people by best information – the day before Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, in an unexpected move. For those who don’t know, Canadian Thanksgiving is Monday, October 14, 2019.
According to a report on Reddit, many staff members have changed their social media bios to say “Former Kindly Beast Staff,” but there has not been an official or at least public report from Kindly Beast at this time. Negative reviews have also been showing up on Glassdoor since October 11th and the About Us section of Kindly Beast’s own website seems to have been drastically cut back, no longer listing all their employees. Unfortunately, with Glassdoor's anonymity in place, this does not leave any names to reach out to.
In addition to Bendy and the Ink Machine, the studio has also previously developed Bendy in Nightmare Run and the recently released Showdown Bandit. A sequel to their hit, Bendy and the Dark Revival, is scheduled to have its first episode be released sometime before the end of 2019, which is still confirmed by the information available on the website as of this posting.
This news does come after the less than stellar launch of the first episode of Showdown Bandit, which may impact the merchandise exclusivity deal that the studio had signed with mammoth retailer Wal-mart for the game. No word on how this affects the recently announced free DLC for the game entitled Death in the Wild. Even if it has no impact on the deal, the game's slow start means there are fewer merchandise sales then may have been anticipated given that much of Bendy's success was on merchandise sales.
With no official word from Kindly Beast at the time of this article publishing, we are left with speculation. However, all evidence does point to about much of the Kindly Beast staff being laid off and where the studio goes from here, not to mention Bendy and the Dark Revival and future episodes of Showdown Bandit, has been left up in question.
What do you think of the Kindly Beast layoffs? Have you played Showdown Bandit? Let us know in the comments below!