Nightmare Difficulty: Estimated 2019 1st Quarter Video Games Jobs Loss Tops Entire 2018

Published: April 2, 2019 10:53 AM /


activision blizzard

There's been a lot of reasons to be hopeful for the future of the video game industry at the start of 2019. A mixture of top hits in Seikro: Shadows Die TwiceResident Evil 2 (2019), and Devil May Cry 5 show that the efforts of developers and publishers such as Capcom and From Software can succeed despite heavy competition in the industry. With that said, not all is rainbows and puppy dogs in the industry right now, as a report from PC games insider has shown. Because despite all of that, 2019 has recorded more video games jobs lost in the video game industry then publicly recorded in 2018, even with big studio closures in 2018 such as Telltale Games.

Guild Wars 2 took a huge hit, as 143 employees ended up having to find new work this year.

Now, what should be noted is that exact figures for some closures aren't given by the companies in question, but PC Games Insider reports that the number is approximately 1500, and cites the following studio closures in the mix:

  • Activision/Blizzard - 800
  • Electronic Arts - 350
  • ArenaNet - 143
  • EA FireMonkeys - 50
  • Razer - 30
  • Nitro Games - 30 or less
  • Outplay - 30 or less
  • Next Games - 26
  • Valve - 13
  • Techland - 13
  • - 13
  • Wish Studios - 13
It should be noted that unlike last years huge closures of studios such as Telltale Games and Capcom Vancouver, a majority of these losses are from non-studio closures. In fact, the only one that is directly from a studio closure is Wish Studios. In addition, the number of jobs in each specialty range in each project, as Artifact staff from Valve were laid off which included programmers and designers, while Activision/Blizzards 8% overall layoffs hit a wider gambit that included a lot of public relations and eSports positions. This is despite record numbers in some cases, such as Activision Blizzard, while others were reporting greater struggles either overall or in certain segments.

Quick TAke

Video games jobs don't exactly have a good history of being stable positions to begin with, but these new numbers should be concerning despite calls for industry unionization and protections for employees who bring fans the best experiences that they can offer. It doesn't help that when contrasted with the dollars made by the top CEOs of the companies that made these layoffs. Activision's Robert Kotick ranks as the 45th most overpaid CEO going into 2019, while Andrew Wilson squeaks in at number 98. Granted, many studios are hiring to hopefully bolster their own projects, as we've seen companies come together in hashtags to help find new jobs for those affected, but it is still a disturbing trend starting the year. I mean, when you've now got twitter accounts reminding people of how many days since the last layoffs have occurred, you know that there's a real concern in the industry.

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Shaun Joy TechRaptor
| Former Video Lead

YouTuber Dragnix who plays way too many games, and has a degree in Software Engineering. A Focus on disclosure on Youtubers, and gaming coverage in general… More about Shaun